5 Reasons You Need A “Real” CIO For A Successful Outcome
There’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing in your conference room
IT outsourcing companies often have account managers, sales reps, and even technicians who act like your Chief Information Officer (CIO). They are your trusted advisor, steering you in the right direction.
It all sounds great.
The reality is that they sell products and/or services. They have “preferred partners”, internal models, and competing motivations. They want to make their initiative work regardless of (sometimes subconsciously) whether or not it is the best-fit solution for your organization’s long-term strategy.
In this post, we’ll compare and contrast what a CIO “actor” is with what a “real” CIO is. And look at five key reasons you need one.
Before we get started let’s break the post title, “5 Reasons You Need A ‘Real’ CIO For A Successful Outcome” down because the meaning of words is important:
First, what are “reasons”?
Reasons are explanations of why something is or should be a certain way. Reasons answer the question, “why”?
In other words, we’ll answer the question, “Why can your businesses benefit from having a ‘real’ CIO?”
Secondly, what is a business “need”?
Business needs are opportunities that are of strategic importance to an organization. And having the right person in the CIO role is definitely of strategic importance to an organization.
Thirdly, and most importantly, what is a “real” CIO?
A “real” CIO is not an actor. They are authentic and qualified to be in their role. This is opposed to people that act like CIOs, without business or leadership experience and/or capability or authority.
And lastly, what is a “successful outcome”?
A successful outcome is achieving a strategic objective, ideally with all stakeholders satisfied.
Okay, let’s get started with five reasons you need a “real” CIO.
1) Real CIOs are objective
Real CIOs objectively address the business situation without distortion by emotions, pre-conceived ideas, or personal objectives.
CIO actors, on the other hand, are biased toward their products or services. Bias leads to less-than-optimal solutions.
CIO actors lack objectivity and have a natural conflict of interest because it is (nearly) impossible to sell something and be completely objective.
2) Real CIOs are focused on the big picture
Focus is important to real CIOs because it is the gateway to thinking: perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making.
Big-picture thinking looks at both the present and the future from the 30,000-foot level.
Conversely, CIO actors are thinking about details right in this moment. They are standing in the forest looking at the trees.
3) Real CIOs think about (and plan for) the future
Real CIOs take a leadership role and the initiative in moving the organization forward. They are constantly thinking about, “what if?”
On the other side CIO actors are focused on the present. What is the immediate pain point that I can address and close this sale?
4) Real CIOs identify and manage risk
Real CIOs ask, “What is the likelihood of an adverse event from this initiative and how can we reduce the risk of it?”
This contrasts with risk management being the last thing on a CIO actor’s mind.
And finally the biggie;
5) Real CIOs create long-term business value
Real CIOs create value for the organization in four main areas;
- increasing revenue (innovation)
- decreasing costs (productivity)
- differentiating the organization (reputation)
- improving stakeholder satisfaction (communication)
CIO actors are focused on their profit margin, their cost of doing business, and their differentiation.
As a result, when the sale is complete, you naturally won’t see them again.
In summary, IT outsourcing organizations try to position their salespeople and technicians as your CIO in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Whereas real CIOs are objective, focused on the picture of the organization, plan for the future, manage risk, and create long-term business value.