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Strategic CIO Series Summary in Forbes

Does IT Strategy Matter?

by Peter High, series on Forbes.com

I would like to introduce a new series, which I refer to as Strategic CIO.Chief information officers are playing an increased role in running strategy for their companies.  As I mention in my book, Implementing World Class IT Strategy, the reasons for this include that IT now needs to bring to life the strategic imperatives of every part of the company, and it behooves CIOs to become more woven into the fabric of the strategic planning process of all parts of the company. A CIO who finds strategic plans lacking, or where it produces plans that are of differing levels of clarity and granularity (rendering them difficult to compare and contrast) should take matters into his or her own hands, both to ensure that the right priorities are made and for self-preservation. This is a diverse lot, including individuals like:

In the kick-off article to the series, I highlight some key themes from the broad perspectives of these diverse CIOs:

  1. Where functional unit and business unit strategies do not already exist, engage the leadership teams of these divisions, stating a desire to learn more in order to deliver more to each
  2. Suggest a common framework for each of them to use
  3. Align members of the IT team with each of the other divisions of the company
  4. Once IT has inputs from across the other functional units and business units of the company, it is positioned well to create an IT-specific strategy, highlighting where IT will focus its attention, noting from where each IT objective has been derived

Below are the Strategic CIO Series’ most recent posts:

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Chris Laping, CIO & SVP, Business Transformation of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

Chief information officers are playing an increased role in running strategy for their companies.  As I mention in my book, Implementing World Class IT Strategy, the reasons for this include that IT now needs to bring to life the strategic imperatives of every part of the company, and it behooves CIOs to become more woven into the fabric of the strategic planning process of all parts of the company. A CIO who finds strategic plans lacking, or where it produces plans that are of differing levels of clarity and granularity (rendering them difficult to compare and contrast) should take matters into his or her own hands, both to ensure that the right priorities are made and for self-preservation.

One of my favorite stories from the book is from Chris Laping, who joined Red Robin as CIO in June of 2007. Laping has the “killer combination” that so many of the people featured in the CIO-Plus and Beyond CIO series have exhibited. He is an engineer with an MBA. He also spent time as a consultant. Therefore, he is a tech savvy problem solver with a mind geared toward developing business ideas that will benefit the entire company and its customers. Laping’s recommendation led to him being named Senior Vice President of Business Transformation, which made him the de facto head of strategy for the company. As someone who personifies the strategic CIO, I reached out to Laping to learn more about how this evolution came about.

Click here to read the full article.

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