What’s your CIO thinking about?

By Cindy O’Keeffe

Last week, I stepped out of the normal routine to join local IT leaders at CIOSynergy for a day of reflection and insight. Now that the chocolate and coffee jitters have faded, I can settle down and share some of the key takeaways.

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Chocolate Overload at CIO Synergy

Not surprisingly, big data was a big talking point. IT’s opportunity is to be a faithful data steward, focusing on governance, database integrity, and security — then going beyond that to understand The Business’ requirements and responding efficiently. Better access to quality data offers the potential for a truly differentiating level of customer understanding and personalization.

Partnering with The Business also means learning to love your marketing colleagues. You may be a little overwhelmed by their enthusiasm for implementing MarTech, but with IT’s vetting, PM, and integration expertise the team will have a better solution. One leader suggested companies assign IT Business Partners much the way we already have HR Business Partners.

Regarding Cloud, one CIO highlighted that in the past, being larger was an advantage, now it means legacy and complexity. That weight makes it harder to subscribe to services which smaller organizations do quite nimbly. Addressing that challenge is critical. As he told his board “cloud will happen to us if we don’t’ take charge… and inevitably it will change everything.”

To address the CEO — CIO Gap participants suggested highlighting the strategic advantages IT brings, and shift perception away from IT as a keep-the-lights-on type of cost center. Periodically brief the board on how IT is aligned with, and critically important to, achieving the company’s strategic objectives. Share context, present the big picture, and show how IT enables progress toward financial goals. And what about when there’s a chasm between what the CEO wants and what IT can deliver? We know a few Gorillas who can help ;-)

Was it worth missing a day in the office? As moderator Macario Gallegos concluded; “we’re all going through the same ick; it makes sense to share stories and learn faster.”

To read more about Gorilla Logic VP of Business Development and Marketing Cindy O’Keefe, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Originally published at Gorilla Logic.