Entrepreneurial Mindset Necessary for CIOs Moving Forward

CIOs play important parts in every organization but how much pull do they have when it comes to influencing executive decision making? In other words, is the CIO in more of a support role as opposed to company leader? Unfortunately many companies see the IT department as a means to an end and not necessarily a game changer. With this mindset, to steal a football term, the CIO is simply a game manager of which not a whole lot is expected. “Just don’t screw it up” is usually the only expectation.

There are several ways to gain that seat at the “big boy table” and have your voice heard. CIOs must present IT as an asset, not a cost center. Come down from that IT tower to learn about the business “beyond IT” to accomplish this feat. Understanding the entire business gives you the ability to develop innovative strategies that benefit the enterprise as a whole.

Next, IT Leadership needs to shift their management orientation and begin thinking like entrepreneurs. CEOs are looking for new revenue sources and IT has an overabundance of assets/resources. These resources, aligned with external resources and knowledge, become the means for developing new products and services. IT needs to embrace this current economic situation and partner with other internal/external organizations to begin an entrepreneurial movement for the core business. IT entrepreneurialism then becomes a new fixture for management in an effort to substantiate their competitive position, affect market landscape, and drive new revenue growth.

Given the business strategy envisioned by other executives, CIOs should focus on how to align the IT services with business goals and outcomes. Deliver those services in a cost effective manner while improving business efficiency. The better your alignments are with other organizations, the more effective your business can be.  This will indirectly strengthen the CIOs influence on executive decisions.


Additional Reading

Entrepreneur CIO (Future of CIO)

The CIO as an Entrepreneur (BizTech2)

Reinvent Yourself: How to Become an Entrepreneurial CIO (HP)

The Entrepreneurial CIO – Part 1 (Enterprise CIO Forum)