I like Ralph Loura’s viewpoint of the CIO as part IT leader and part Business co-creator. I’ve always believed that IT leaders should show the business what is possible. The functional business leaders will not be as well versed in technology to understand the value and impact of modern technologies and approaches. Workflow enabled business processes, rules processing, Analytics, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, DevOps, Cloud Computing, Agile, these are well understood concepts in technology that can provide tremendous value. The business needs to be coached and educated.
We are such a technological society, that this even happens on the consumer level. Think of the advertising by Intel for its latest processors – “Intel Inside”. Consumers are not usually going out and buying processor chips, but Intel is educating consumers on a mass level as to the value and power of its technology, that is inside of a consumer product.
Similarly, the modern CIO needs to educate his peers of the value of modern technology and collaboratively make decisions on where to invest and de-invest. They should partner to determine which applications and business processes should be modernized and re-written, what technical debt needs to be paid down, what to decommission, and where to optimize IT’s ability to meet the business demand.
In today’s technology enabled business environments, the CIO should have a heavy hand in creating the vision and strategy.