aNewDomain.net–The I in CIO shouldn’t stand for information anymore. But I have some alternatives.
A CIO, after all, does so much more than just manage information. Data is a commodity now. Today’s CIO needs to be a cross-department resource. His job is to maximize the strategic value of the organization’s information assets – and not just police the information. But don’t drop the I. Here are a few replacements for the I in CIO that we can all get behind.
Fourteenth century brain rendering by unknown artist: Wikimedia Commons
Intelligence: In this age of fierce change – with consumerization shaking it all up – the CIO faces huge challenges. But he doesn’t need to grapple with only information anymore. These days it’s about intelligence. Sheer, massive amounts of data aren’t enough to arm an enterprise. It needs to be actionable data. Just to compete in today’s market, a CIO needs to make sure he gets data he acts on.
That’s actionable intelligence.
Situational awareness is key. You sail or fail based on fractions of a margin, not sea change improvements. And the smart company needs every ounce of intelligence it can muster to stay alive, even if just by a tiny margin.
Integration: Beyond the technical integration of information between departments is the procedural integration that allows for the effective sharing of intelligence among them. As the technical requirements for each department’s systems become more robust and specialized, it’ll become the norm for them to maintain their own technical resources. It will be the CIO’s responsibility to manage the flow of intelligence between silos. The Chief Integration Officer’s responsibility, that is.
Innovation: Then again, the I in CIO could stand for innovation. The code that powers many businesses today isn’t exceptional on its own. Organizations have to draw on the interaction between technology and other disciplines to create true innovation. Employees expect to buy, return, act, react and share in real-time across all devices – no matter who owns the devices or where they came from. Innovation here differentiates the leaders from the rest: the ability to innovate in times of intense change is rare and rewarding.
Today’s CIO – Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Intelligence Officer and Chief Integration Officer – has a defining role in today’s rapidly changing enterprise. It’s a cross-departmental executive, not unlike the traditional Chief Operations Officer’s role. But where the COO is concerned with the execution of business processes, the CIO must constantly strive to improve the foundations of a profoundly changing institution.
The successful CIO will focus on the acquisition and implementation of technology and information – and how they can be leveraged in new and novel ways each day to gain a fractional edge over competitors. That takes imagination. Or Imagination. It’s a smart CIO who knows how to leverage the new enterprise.