10 Ways CIOs Can Invest Like a CFO, Manage Like a CEO

1 - 10 Ways CIOs Can Invest Like a CFO, Manage Like a CEO
2 - Make Smarter Spending Decisions
3 - Use Historical Data to Inform Action
4 - Eliminate Information Silos
5 - Deepen Relationships Across the C-Suite
6 - Proactively Partner With the CEO, CMO or CSO
7 - Embrace a Data Strategy for IT
8 - Hire for Analytics Skills
9 - Champion Creativity Within IT
10 - Develop Ongoing Marketing Collateral for IT
11 - Speak Directly to Your Audience
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10 Ways CIOs Can Invest Like a CFO, Manage Like a CEO

by Chris Preimesberger

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Make Smarter Spending Decisions

Gartner Research estimates the average IT budget will grow by a mere 1 percent in 2015 while the CIO's scope of responsibilities continues to expand. CIOs must run lean and smarter—cutting costs while investing in transformative technology. Analytics will come in very handy here.

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Use Historical Data to Inform Action

CIOs must have a good grip on their organizations' past challenges in order to address new ones and prepare for the future. This requires access to historical data as well as an understanding of existing assets to inform their IT strategy.

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Eliminate Information Silos

Uncovering opportunities to innovate across a business requires an integrated view. This means synthesizing insights from multiple data sources. By combining data from operational and financial systems across the business, CIOs can identify important correlations, such as the true cost of providing a business service.

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Deepen Relationships Across the C-Suite

Digital innovation requires the CIO to execute in close partnership with other executives. These interactions also can ensure that other C-level execs clearly understand what the CIO's role entails, helping the CIO to set expectations accordingly.

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Proactively Partner With the CEO, CMO or CSO

Identify an opportunity to work with another C-level executive (such the chief marketing officer or the chief security officer) to demonstrate the value the IT organization provides. By spending time with leaders across the company to understand the company's broader strategic objectives and offer technology support for these goals, the CIO can drive lasting results across departments.

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Embrace a Data Strategy for IT

To better serve the enterprise, IT leaders must first successfully adopt their own technologies and best practices. As HR, marketing and other functions become more data-driven, IT must also leverage data to garner actionable insights.

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Hire for Analytics Skills

Analytics skills are in high demand across the enterprise due to a massive influx of data and the availability of less expensive and more powerful technology to sift through complex data sets. Organizations with fully developed analytics teams will continue to be the top performers in the years to come.

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Champion Creativity Within IT

Successful leaders today are those that continue to bring new ideas to C-suite peers, rather than maintain the status quo. Adopting new and innovative technologies on a regular basis is one approach to sparking creativity within the IT organization.

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Develop Ongoing Marketing Collateral for IT

Stay accountable to other departments by clearly marketing IT services and successes through a variety of internal and external activities. Consider sharing monthly reports across the enterprise to outline IT’s progress, challenges and opportunities. Contribute to the thought leadership conversation by volunteering to give a presentation or develop articles or a newsletter.

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Speak Directly to Your Audience

While increasing marketing efforts is important, it’s also crucial to communicate with end users in clear, non-technical terms. Eliminate jargon to ensure internal and external partners are all on the same page. Use customer-oriented metrics like end-user satisfaction to communicate how IT has been delivering value to employees.

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