Subtle signs of how we hold the CIO back

Gartner 03 Feb 2020 12:57

If digital transformation is, in part, a technology transformation; then the CIO should play a major role.  Its simple logic, given the CIO’s responsibilities and resources.  Simple logic should create simple advice. When it comes to advice for the CIO, none of it is simple.

On the surface we talk about the role of the CIO in digital transformation.  Beneath that surface we use terms and mental models that keep the CIO trapped in a back office functional role.  Its subtle, but effective, but too many people, industry analysts and executives still think the CIO is the senior most guy from the IT department.

Thinking about bias before during and after reading something.  Reading for bias was the best skills I learned in college.  Everything has bias and here are some ways analysts, consultants and others subtly bias and marginalize CIOs.  They  include:

Applying a bottom up argument – starting with the CIO’s current responsibilities and how they should expand.  This defines the new role as in terms of ‘both and’, their new role and their old role.  The dig is this – you cannot do your new role until you discharge your old one.  CEO’s, CFO’s and other leaders prove themselves and move into new roles.  The CIO’s role on the other hand makes advancement contingent on continuing with their current responsibilities.

The five traits include:

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with these vectors or traits.  It’s the way they are presented, what they presume, their context and the way they make the argument that illustrate how we keep the CIO in their place.

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