Author and adviser Peter High discusses the role of today’s CIO, where that role has been and where it’s going.
Patrick K Burke
Excerpt from the Article:
CIO Insight recently had the opportunity to chat with author, podcast moderator and adviser Peter High in New York City. High, an all-around busy man who was about to embark on an overseas business trip when we spoke, provided CIO Insight with a look at the role of today’s CIO, where that role has been and where it’s going. High kept an upbeat tempo as he settled into a chair by the fireplace in the sedate and cozy library of the Penn Club in New York. And the U Penn grad has plenty to be upbeat about. His latest book, Implementing World Class IT Strategy: How IT Can Drive Organizational Innovation, touches on the seismic shift CIOs are experiencing and maps out what’s to be expected of today’s stewards of all things technology. Aside from penning a book, High moderates The Forum on World Class IT, a popular podcast, and he’s already turned his attention to beginning another work focused on the first 100 days of a CIO’s tenure. The following is a condensed version of CIO Insight’s conversation with Peter High.
CIO Insight: How long did you work on your book, Implementing World Class IT Strategy–and the book has a subtitle–?
High: It does–How IT Can Drive Organizational Innovation. A little bit more than a year. It came out of a body of work that I had been doing with a variety of CIOs and helping them formulate strategies. One of the hypothesis that the book is based upon is many CIOs are phenomenal at execution, great at tactics, not necessarily as comfortable in creating strategy. So a lot of it comes from counseling CIOs who are looking to become more strategic, more part of the strategic conversation in the broader part of the enterprise.
CIO Insight: And that almost leads right into my next question. The role of the CIO is changing, they’re involved in more strategic initiatives, they’re more aligned with business decisions. What can CIOs do to prepare for this shift?
High: No. 1 is to become much more cognizant of how value is created in their enterprises. Traditional CIOs and IT teams have been focused on metrics like uptime and delivering projects on time and on budget and to the value specified. Which are still very important. But they’re table stakes. They’re the foundation. And to build above you need to understand what are the metrics that the CEO has on his or her dashboard. How does one grow revenue while also maintaining a good cost base or even becoming more efficient.
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