CIOs are more business-savvy than ever. They don't have a choice. After all these years of struggling to align IT with the business and striving to meet the needs of business leaders and business unit employees, successful IT leaders find themselves working alongside their business peers, including fellow C-level executives.
Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that a growing number of CIOs have transitioned over from business roles in the last several years. Still, whether you're business leader-turned-CIO or a CIO who grew from within the IT organization, it's critical for IT leaders to find a way to stay on top of the latest technology trends, particularly as consumer electronics continue to invade the workplace and spread their influence.
Customer experience is high on the priority list for many IT leaders. As I noted in a blog I posted last month, 82 percent of 100 CIOs and CTOs from companies with 500 to 10,000 employees that were recently surveyed by Yankee Group place customer experience as their top strategic priority this year.
As the economy continues to improve and companies look grow their businesses by adding new customers and retaining existing customers, it's important for CIOs, CTOs, and other executives to develop a stronger understanding and appreciation for delivering on multichannel customer experiences.
We all keep hearing about how stressed out the average worker is. And even though the economy continues to show signs of improvement, hiring within many organizations has remained tepid. Revenues are picking up but staff growth hasn't kept pace with new project demands.
How big a problem is this? Consider a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association as reported by CNN in which more than a third of U.S. employees (36 percent) say they're experiencing chronic work stress. Meanwhile, another 32 percent of the 1,546 respondents say they plan to seek employment elsewhere over the next year.
Just to be clear, this is a story about a CIO who spotted the warning signs about the housing bubble ahead of the market and helped lower his company's exposure to risky subprime mortgage-backed securities. He's a CIO who has delivered tremendous business value to his company.
But he's not the type of CIO you would normally read about in CIOZone.
For years, CIOs have ranked the importance of aligning IT with the business as their top strategic goal. And while business alignment hasn't necessarily diminished in importance, many forward-thinking IT leaders are pushing the ball forward.
For instance, according to a new study by Yankee Group, 82 percent of 100 CIOs and CTOs from companies with 500 to 10,000 employees ranked improving customer experience as their top strategic priority.
With The 83rd Annual Academy Awards just behind us, many of the Best Picture nominees are still fresh in our minds.
In contemplating the winner of the Best Picture category - The King's Speech - it led me to consider the key leadership lessons that CXOs and other decision-makers can draw from King George VI, the famed leader portrayed by actor Colin Firth who guided Britain through the dark days of World War II.