Be the best CIO. How do you juggle present and future?


The CIO title is relatively new to the C-Suite. With it only having been around since the beginning of this century, what are the key challenges you face within the job?

Of course, every company is different, making every role different, but to be the best CIO you need to juggle the present and the future.

You’re expected to be the strategic leader, with a vision for the future of technology within the business, but given you’ve progressed through the ranks and have been a hands-on leader with your team/s, keeping that distance can be a learning experience in itself.

Breaking it down into a few areas could be the best strategy.

What do you need to focus on and why? A big part of strategic planning is understanding what needs to be done before it becomes a problem. And then, before trying to solve the problem you need to translate that plan, or vision, into goals and objectives.

This is where you come into your own.

You’ll ask yourself if budgets are correct in line with these goals. You’re not just there to allow people to have fun with the coolest tech. This is of course a bonus, but if it doesn’t fit in with your vision then it’s going to come back on you.

You set the tone for the project, you know the priorities, you know your own job, but you also know the jobs of everyone around you. If you assemble the correct leadership team, focusing on the what and why, you can be confident that your strategic vision is in safe hands to be delivered in the way you have planned.

Now is the time to strategically manage that team. But what approach do you take?

Being “hands-on” is what you’re used to, but striking the right balance is key. Staying hands on keeps you fresh, as tech moves fast, but getting too involved can steer you away from your goal. There’s pro’s and con’s for both sides, but do the cons outweigh the pro’s?

Being too hands on can create a “micromanagement” environment, which will impact you in the long term, however being too strategic can make you feel like you don’t know what’s going on across the organisation and can .

Without doubt, in an ideal world the best CIO will strike the best balance possible. But even more without doubt is that the best CIO figures out the best way to transform the business to reach the future vision.

How do you juggle present and future?