CIOIT Governance

Three Things Every CEO Should Learn from the CIO

CEOs do not have enough time to know everything about the business, but they need to make time to learn a little of everything. This is especially true where technology is concerned in today’s society. In an article for CIO UK, Pat Brans highlights three essentials CEOs should learn from their CIO:

  1. A basic understanding of IT
  2. Business transformation and change management
  3. Cost-cutting and supplier management

Chief of Information Indeed

As the common refrains goes, “Every business is a technology business,” so the CEO does need to understand the basic mechanics of IT. After all, the CEO inevitably knows the basics of finance and would not be seen asking the CFO what a balance sheet is. One should expect the same when talking with the CIO. Such essential knowledge will buffer the CEO’s decision-making abilities across a wide variety of situations.

Ideally, the CIO should have the best idea of anyone in the business of how technology can transform the business in lucrative new directions. The CEO should learn in general terms from the CIO how the technology works that could enable such positive changes. Change will always be a good thing in business when properly managed.

Lastly, CIOs have learned a lot about cutting costs in recent years, something CEOs can appreciate. Executive recruiter Iain McKeand offers this praise of what CIOs bring to the table for CEOs in this regard:

A lot of CIOs are very, very good at vendor management…CIOs might come up with a paper on how to cut IT expenditures by 10%. HR will come back and ask if that involves headcount. It usually doesn’t. It’s usually about squeezing the supplier.

CEOs are saying that all sections need to cut costs. They look at the CIO as a good example, because CIOs know how to cut costs. Often CIOs look at the supplier model and cut costs by reducing the number of suppliers. So the CEO asks why other parts of the company can’t follow suit.

Barring some extreme circumstance, CIOs should report directly to the CEO. There are too many opportunities at stake for things to be any other way. You can view the original article here:

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