7 business skills every IT leader needs to succeed

Today’s CIO needs more than technology mastery. Long-term career success also demands a commitment to developing a set of core business skills.

The days when CIOs could glide into a long-term career based solely on their technical abilities are rapidly fading.

“It’s no longer enough for IT leaders to be tech experts,” warns Bob Hersch, a principal at Deloitte Consulting. The best-in-class CIOs of today are also business savvy, using their knowledge to embed IT as a service capability.

“This business-centric approach integrates IT into an overall business strategy,” he adds.

The best way any IT leader can augment his or her current technical knowledge — and strengthen their long-term career prospects — is by committing to acquiring the following seven essential business skills.

1. An entrepreneurial mindset

CIOs, regardless of their organization’s size, have to act like entrepreneurs, operating with speed, agility, and ever higher levels of passion, empathy, and creativity, advises Ram Nagappan, CIO at global investment firm BNY Mellon Pershing.

Disruption is the new constant. “Competition is coming from all corners of the market, with fintechs and startups moving at light speed,” Nagappan says. To meet competition head on, CIOs must think like entrepreneurs and act as agents of change. “They need to constantly think about how their business could be disrupted at any point in time and how they can creatively deploy technology to get ahead of potential disruptors and future-proof the business,” he suggests.

2. Strong leadership skills

Leadership is a core competency that paves the way to successful technology transformation. “To truly lead, you must have business acumen in addition to technical understanding,” explains Richard Cox, CIO at media conglomerate Cox Enterprises. “Our jobs are really to leverage technology to unleash the potential of the business, and you simply have to have an understanding of the business landscape in order to exploit these opportunities.”[ Looking to upgrade your career in tech? This comprehensive online course teaches you how. ]

Leadership is a combination of internal and external engagement. The problems CIOs face today are growing increasingly complex. The future is ambiguous, and answers are often not clear or simple. “The only way to navigate in … these uncharted waters, is to build an environment that allows people to bring ideas, perspectives, and input to solve problems,” Cox says. “Building teams that create aligned empowerment is more important today than ever.”

Poor IT leaders often make the mistake of setting project plans, gate reviews, and delivery dates without educating the IT team on the who, what, when, and why of how the effort will help the enterprise, says Harley Bledsoe, CIO at BBB National Programs, a nonprofit organization that oversees more than a dozen industry self-regulation programs that sets standards for business advertising and privacy practices.

“Bringing the team along on the journey as they execute on their deliverables is critical to developing an effective solution,” he explains.

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IT News March/April 2012

Creating culture of IT innovation includes rewarding failure – Computerworld lnkd.in/mfGKif

In IT Projects, More Needs to Be Less Too – Information Management Blogs Article lnkd.in/rFZ3CK

Personal and Enterprise IT Gains – Information Management Blogs Article lnkd.in/fu9VKq

Attention tech sales people: Don’t go around the CIO :: Editor’s Blog at WRAL Tech Wire lnkd.in/SbT5YF

IT Must Provide Enterprise Collaboration Tools Employees Will Use lnkd.in/nf6qa9

When Will the Offshore Flow of IT and Finance Jobs End? CIO.com lnkd.in/YcF2vP

Bring your own tech: IT’s missed opportunity | Byod – InfoWorld lnkd.in/sHUXmm

Offshoring Shrinks Number of IT Jobs, Study Says CIO.com lnkd.in/553iN6

CIOs Overcome Shortage of Business Analytics Talent lnkd.in/ukwwzv

India’s IT Firms Hire U.S. Workers As They Fight for Visas CIO.com lnkd.in/fDhir8

Small Business Data Backup Plans Found Lacking – Small and Medium Business IT – News & Reviews – Baseline.com lnkd.in/yHWPaZ

Execs to IT: Take these cloud services and manage them | Cloud storage – InfoWorld lnkd.in/t6AMGu

How to Get a Hot Job in Big Data CIO.com lnkd.in/DWHzEX

Getting A Recommendation From A Past Employer lnkd.in/AnAXJE

Offshoring Shrinks Number of IT Jobs, Study Says CIO.com lnkd.in/8RnBUz

Why the ‘personal cloud’ is no PC killer | Cloud computing – InfoWorld lnkd.in/7byGYH

IT Contractors Help Companies Meet Changing Work Needs

The demand for tech part-time work can also mean the economy is improving, says an IT staffing firm

Whether companies require specific tech talent for a project or need extra help meeting a business uptick brought by the recovering economy, corporate IT departments depend on the contract workforce.

For CIOs, temporary staff offer the experience required to complete a specific task without the need, and cost, of permanently keeping them on the payroll. IT staffing firms see contractors as helping companies stay flexible and meeting the work peaks and lulls that accompany a recovering economy. In either scenario, contractors have been, and will continue to be, in demand for enterprise IT, according to CIOs and hiring experts.


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Mike Hanes

ProVisionTech Jobs – Dallas IT Jobs – Dallas Technical Jobs

Dallas IT Recruiter Guy

Integrity in Recruiting








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CIO’s Guide to Great IT Budgets

Some CIOs always seem to be plush with funds and have great IT Budgets. This article looks at some critical factors which influence IT Budgets.

Year on year most CIOs are facing a downward pressure on their IT spends. IT surveys in last year and year before have shown that IT spends either remained the same or increased only marginally. Even the marginal increase mainly is attributed to increasing man power costs and costs of maintenance. However some CIOs always seem to be plush with funds and have great IT Budgets. Most others who do not fall in this category attribute it to organisation’s culture (IT savy), or great boards, amazing sponsors and many other things – other than the CIOs ability to obtain the budgets. However obtaining Great IT Budgets is a skill. This article presents a few principles on how to get approvals for great budgets. (Here we take into consideration only budgets approved during normal operations of the company. In special cases such during Fund Raising, IPO, M&A – getting budgets is a different ball game).

I do not like to oversimplify things. However two important principles which lead to great IT budgets are great projects and great selling.
Great Projects

Ask any CIO and he would have at least 3 to 4 large IT projects running in parallel (and possibly on miserably low budgets). The primary reason for the low budgets is that most projects which are selected and presented to the board (or committee etc.) don’t fit the requirements of strategic projects. If you look at the IT project classification grid – where does most of your IT Budget go? Most CIOs spenGrid2d maximum amount of budgets on “support” projects (mainly because these are critical for sustaining present operations), and on “factory” projects – projects which improve efficiencies. While these two types of projects are important – these will continually face a downward pressure on budgets as these are seen as ‘necessary evil’ rather than value adding activities. Great projects are the ones which fall in the category of “Turn around” and “Strategic”. These projects hold a promise of improvement in revenue – top line and bottom lines and becoming a great differentiator spiralling companies growth.

Indentifying Strategic Projects involves number of techniques – including innovation techniques such as Systematic Inventive Thinking (which I am great admirer of), brain storming, Deep Diving, strategic workshops, etc. I will dwell into some of these topics in some of my other posts. However one thing is sure that strategic projects can rarely be identified by looking at what competition is doing.

For any CIO, it is essential to first assess where his projects lie in the above strategic grid. Once he is sure that he has a great new project which is a strategic or a turnaround project, it’s time to move on to the next step – selling the project.
Great Selling
Most CIOs / CTOs require the approval of some committee, board, or sometimes a person for their IT Budgets. It is not enough to have a great project (or line up of projects) to obtain budgets. Many times the most promising projects are shelved because lack of budgets. What the CIOs generally ignore is that however great the idea – it needs to be sold. Here I give four simple rules by which you can sell your project effectively to your board.

1. TALK BUSINESS: Start with how the project is going to improve revenues and efficiencies. Present NUMBERS. Do not go through the usual rant of business requirements, approach, specifications approach etc. No one is interested in these. Talk MONEY, talk about CUSTOMER, talk DIFFERNTIATION. Do not talk specifications.

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Mike Hanes

ProVisionTech Jobs – Dallas IT Jobs – Dallas Technical Jobs

Dallas IT Recruiter Guy

Integrity in Recruiting

“Save Time, The Best Resources, Guaranteed!”

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