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How to Measure the Value of Your CIO

Behind every good CEO, is a great CIO
March 29 2019

“I need a new CIO”

We regularly hear from senior business leaders about how dissatisfied they are with the performance of their “IT” and wouldn’t life be much better if they had a CIO who was innovative, delivered things on time and didn’t spend all the budget!

It’s no secret that over the past few years IT has been a “convenient” place to land the blame for failed projects and an organisations’ inability to drive innovation. After all, all this technical and data stuff that they do can’t be that difficult, can it?

Well frankly that’s just it, it is far from easy! We would argue that the role of the CIO is the most challenging, dynamic and fast-moving executive position which is consistently under-valued and the breadth and spread of complexity rarely fully understood.

“We should be a Digital business” (whatever that means)

“Why don’t we have Artificial Intelligence”

 “This Blockchain stuff should be a silver bullet for us”

“This GDPR compliance project is all down to the failings of our systems isn’t it?”

We could go on and on.

The bottom line is that today’s CIO has so many competing and complex elements across their world that it is impossible to deliver success across all of its core areas of accountability including Digital, Technology, Operations, and Leadership. The CIO’s stakeholder community both internal and external is wide, and then some.

Maybe this is the reason we see spin-off roles such as CTO, CDO popping up all over the place often as a silver bullet to dilute the span of control of the CIO.

Let’s use the Analogy of running a restaurant

The CIO (Head Chef) is the innovator and designs the best recipes. They also have to make sure that the food is sourced from the right place, at the right price and delivered at the right time, on time every day without fail.

“Oh, and by the way could you please tell us how much money we make on each dish”

“And whilst I have your attention, please tell me how we save a few quid on the electricity bill as the more we cook the more we consume.”

Then there are customers. We must make sure that our customers are looked after and that they have a great time.

“Wouldn’t it be a great idea if we could make the kitchen open plan so that everyone can see we are fully compliant with health and safety?”

“We might also be able to “go Digital” and do some clever marketing stuff to seduce them back again by recording their information as they come through”

“Oh and please ensure we comply with those rules about data protection”

As Chef retires for the evening the Owner proudly announces “Great news! We have decided to run a project to open up 5 more restaurants and assumed that consolidating our supply chain of potatoes will save us a lot of money. Maybe we do need some AI & Blockchain after all….”