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The 2018 CIO resolution: 'Maintain my brain and general fitness for business'

The 2018 CIO resolution: 'Maintain my brain and general fitness for business'

Gartner blurs - for the first time - the line between professional and personal New Year's resolutions for CIOs.

CIOs must think of themselves as high-value corporate assets...When one's mind is too overloaded with clutter to see clearly, that asset will underperform.

Today’s CIOs are being stretched more than ever.

Thus, one of Gartner’s annual New Year’s resolutions for CIOs is to maintain general fitness for the business.

“We regularly see CIOs who are working harder and harder to stay in control, some at the risk of taking themselves to the edge of burnout,” observe Gartner analysts Mark Raskino, Patrick Meehan and Mary Mesaglio.

Today’s CIOs are expected to make massive strides in digital business transformation over short periods, they state in the analyst firm’s annual CIO New Year's Resolutions.

Thus, some CIOs are experiencing the same pressure as Silicon Valley executives. The latter have taken on some extreme measures to cope, from 'biohack’ fasting, which may involve not eating for days, to taking ice baths in the morning.

“Few CIOs should go to such extremes,” they point out.

They reveal that for the first time, Gartner is blurring the line between professional and professional and personal New Year's resolutions.

CIOs must think of themselves as high-value corporate assets,” they explain.

Be prepared to explore anything that's conditional on progress in data, communications, computation, sensors and algorithm

“When one's mind is too overloaded with clutter to see clearly, that asset will underperform. If you are too tired to think, this could have material consequences — big mistakes in corporate strategy could arise.

“It is important to everyone that you protect the sharp performance of your mind, and the body that supports it.”

CIOs can start by monitoring and managing their sleep patterns and nutrition.

“Pay particular attention if increased travel is disrupting your patterns and usual self-restraint,” they state.

Keep a watchful eye on your alcohol intake, they advise. They also warn against increased intake of caffeine, sugar and other stimulants to boost energy performance. “Diminishing returns apply to these tactics.”

Exercise is important, even if only going for brisk walks, they add.

CIOs can also practice mindfulness, using apps for guidance and reminders.

Learn from your peers: Check out our State of the CIO report on the challenges and concerns of CIOs today. Sign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, career tips, views and events.

The constant resolution

The Gartner analysts, meanwhile, say a resolution that CIOs must include every year is to make time to directly experience new technologies.

This is important as the CIO role can involve a series of internal meetings,  bureaucratic prioritisation, governance and compliance work. At the same time, their executive colleagues expect them to share insights on futuristic ideas and significant emerging technologies.

Thus, the CIO must make time to visit exhibitions or “play” with these technologies, as well as set aside a small budget to buy new technologies for their home or office.

Stop “thinking narrowly about the domain of IT,” they further advise.

“Be prepared to explore anything that's conditional on progress in data, communications, computation, sensors and algorithm.”

A checklist for the year ahead
A checklist for the year ahead

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Tags CIO rolechange managementGartnercareerdisruptionCIO100Patrick MeehanMark RaskinomindfulnessGartner Symposium/ITxpo 20172018 resolutions2018 trendsMary Mesaglio

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