As we know, companies are expecting more value-added contributions from CIOs than ever. Meeting these expectations doesn't have to mean reinventing the wheel. They needn't overthink how they can metamorphose into strategy gurus as thoughts of being replaced taunt them from the far reaches of their consciousness. In fact, in many ways, opportunities to demonstrate strategic leadership exist in their current organizations, according to a feature in the new issue of PricewaterhouseCoopers's quarterly journal, Technology Forecast. By recognizing the deficiencies in practices that have long been taken for granted and introducing a new value-creating framework, IT chiefs can reinvent not only the way their organizations do business; they can recreate their own roles and how they are perceived.
There is something ironic about CIOs' long and continuing struggle for greater recognition and respect as a member of the C team. After all, executives today are at the mercy of information: utterly dependent on data to run their companies, yet inundated by more of it than they can productively manage without technology. IT chiefs, then, should be the ones holding all the cards.
In research done with business and IT executives, it’s usually the business executives who put their IT peers on the hot seat. But in the latest McKinsey & Co. survey, fielded online from October 13, 2009 to October 26, 2009 with 444 C-level respondents, 55 percent of the non-IT executives said their IT department’s performance in providing basic IT services was very or extremely effective, an increase over last year’s 50 percent score. For their part, IT executives were less sanguine. Forty-nine percent of them said their IT department’s management of IT infrastructure was extremely or very effective, down from 62 percent the year earlier. And that was the good news!