The value-creating CIO*

September 2010
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The value-creating CIO*

At a glance

CIOs are no longer behind the scenes at their organizations. Now they’re more often expected to create value in client-facing, revenue-oriented areas where employees need the help of technology to explore and capitalize potential new opportunities and demands. Finding these opportunities means getting involved where the business action is: the business itself. So how do CIOs do this successfully?

More and more businesses want the CIO to be a process manager, creator, and strategist across the full mosaic of the business; that is, they want a CIO who creates value. That means being involved in more front-office, client-facing, and revenue-oriented areas where flexibility, variability, and ambiguity are norms — and where employees need the help of technology to explore and capitalize potential new opportunities and demands.

But being a value creator is a very different proposition for CIOs than it was a decade ago. Today, the potential for creating top-line value is in the front office, in client-facing, and revenue-oriented areas where flexibility, variability, and ambiguity are norms — and where employees need the help of technology to explore and capitalize potential new opportunities and demands.

Finding these opportunities means getting involved where the business action is: the business itself. Doing so successfully means working with the business in a different way from what many CIOs are used to. When you get involved in value creation, you’re going to get involved in new ideas that aren’t proven and that need a looser level of process management than most IT organizations have been comfortable with, given their focus on mission-critical back-end systems. By getting involved in the business and shifting away from one process control approach for everything, the CIO can become a facilitator of value creation.