Over the past few years the words “align with the business” have become a catchphrase for CIOs, a kind of recipe for finding success in a job with a lot of subjective measures. Usually this has meant listening carefully to the needs of various business units and finding the technology (and budget) to meet those needs. Recently, however, some IT executives are finding that meeting a need is no longer enough.
In their January article “The Top 10 Strategic Issues for CIOs in 2014”, database giant Oracle makes a list of recommendations to follow in the coming year, from reaching out to R&D, to using data from all aspects of the business to show the executive team a more holistic view of where things really stand. But what does everything on the list have in common?
This echoes what I am hearing from business leaders (particularly CMOs and sales leaders) who have gone around IT to implement initiatives such as BYOD, Analytics, or Cloud. To their view, IT isn’t responsive enough in reactive mode, let alone coming up with proactive measures. Had IT been more agile and less restrictive in the past, I was told, these business leaders would not have felt a need to “go rogue”.
In order to combat the tide of shadow IT, CIOs will have to get in front of emerging technologies and be the one to present them to their peers. Don’t just wait for your peers to come to you; CIOs who do that are a commodity. Anticipate what they need proactively and tell them about it before they read it somewhere else.