CIOs have a hard time these days. Not only are they expected to keep IT effectively running at a low cost every month, they are also expected to become business strategists, innovators and new service/product designers. No wonder many can't keep up!
I recently read a report that offered four reasons CIOs get fired, and they seem obvious:
- Security breaches – Letting strangers into your system is never a good thing, especially when those strangers can then access proprietary or sensitive company information.
- Project boondoggles – Large project failures don't just affect IT, they affect the entire business, draining money and lowering morale.
- Disaster recovery failures – IT hiccups are unavoidable, but there should be a plan in place for a stress-free and smooth recovery.
- System collapse – A total system collapse has a grave effect on the business that cannot be overlooked; the ability to scale system performance is a necessity.
So, how can you help your CIO avoid these issues (which affect your job too!)? You can:
- Help him identify the issues listed above before it's too late, running regular drills and “surprise” simulated outages to test procedures and training.
- Help him implement portfolio and project governance and measurement practices that manage projects and programs using an Agile approach to reduce project size and achieve noticeable results.
- Help him learn about the IT-CMF framework, an IT capability assessment tool designed to match IT investment to business value. It will help him assess his team, prioritize initiatives and talk strategically with his counterparts, the CEO and the board.
- Help him identify team members who have a negative effect on company morale and productivity, implementing isolation strategies to minimize their potential damage.
- Buy him a beer every now and then! Establish a relationship with your CIO so that the lines of communication are open and potential issues and opportunities can be easily addressed.
What would you add to this list?