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January 24, 2005
Finding One's Groove As A CIO
Topic: 4) A Random Walk

This post has been cross-posted at The CIO Weblog.

One of the well-respected consulting firms in Chicago (my prior hometown), Blackwell Consulting, has published a good article on covering "The Top Things Every CIO Should Know". While that may be an appropriate title for the article, I thought the article actually captured a framework for finding one's groove as a CIO as opposed to being a list of 10 things that a CIO should know. Although it's not talked about that much, different styles of CIOs thrive in different jobs. To highlight a portion of the article that jumped out at me (because it focuses on what type of valuation mindset one has with a CIO),

"It's important to identify the primary goal of the company's IT efforts. IT may be viewed as a means of cutting costs by increasing efficiency, or as a way to get new things done, or as an opportunity to gain an edge that can't be replicated by the competition. The trend is toward cutting costs.

I would caution CIOs about going into an environment where it's all about increasing efficiency for two reasons. First, there are only so many costs you can take out, and then you've got to do something beyond that. Second, it's just not as rewarding as working in an environment where IT is valued for its strategic value in moving the company ahead. Ultimately, cutting costs is part of the job, but any worthy CIO should excel in both operational and strategic areas."

Steve Shu
Managing Director
S4 Management Group

Posted by sshu-s4 (c) S4 Management Group LLC at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: January 24, 2005 6:02 PM CST
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