Raj is the CIO of a large international corporate enterprise. The organisation has a large data center and hundreds of developers and engineers working to keep its business applications running. Raj was the absolute boss of this large IT empire, to whom all business groups came running to get their needs implemented.
Recently however, Raj has seen a change in the organisations attitude. Many departments have started implementing applications they need directly, hosting them on the cloud. The CEO seemed to be encouraging this decentralization. Raj became worried. Was he losing his importance?
If you are Raj, what all would do you do to ensure that you and your role remained relevant in the changing environment?
Ensure that your IT infrastructure and systems are pukka
You need to ensure smooth information flow in your organisation. This is the first step. If this is not done, nothing that you do otherwise will help.
Go beyond thinking like a CIO
CIOs should learn to think more like a CEO than just a CIO. All your decisions should be based on how the business can be improved. Figure out what is slowing down the company and fix them using technology. Also, try to get experience in lateral positions. Volunteer for organisation-wide initiatives. Become an adviser to other groups.
Learn to gamble
CIOs normally are risk-averse. The safer you play, the more likely that they won’t need you anymore. No pain, no gain. Show a willingness to take calculated risks that could benefit the company.
Learn to delegate
Create a strong team under you. And let the world know that you have groomed a successor. Your deliverable should be, of course, more than the sum of the deliverables of your subordinates. Delegate work to your managers without shirking your own work.
Make your contribution known
Without seeming to be blowing your horn, you need to let people know your contribution. This is very important to so that people know that your position is indeed contributing to the organisation.
Start thinking of your options
You need to create and have a plan for when, if god forbid, the axe falls. The clearer you are on your backup plan, the more confident you become and less likely you are to find the axe on your neck.