CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 18

Yes, this is a challenging time for
CIOs. But it’s also a unique time for
making IT all it can be. We have a
great career.

Richard McAvey
Director, Office of the CIO
Marathon Oil

technical and business worlds. You don’t need to be an
expert in both worlds, but you have to be comfortable in both.
“No one hands you a partnership. You have to earn it,” says
Mark Benaquista, the former Warner Music co-CIO. “The
CIO of old, when talking to senior management, would
make IT seem like magic, a black box. Today you gain
credibility by using your technical expertise to add value to
a dialog when business is being discussed in business terms.
Then you demonstrate that credibility through action.”
To become a real player, though, you have to put some skin
in the game. “In order for CIOs to get a seat at the table, they
need to take the lead in initiating business transformation –
and then be accountable for generating the desired business
outcomes,” says Joel Austin, VP and CIO of Oncor, which
operates the largest electricity distribution and transmission
system in Texas. “Instead of just being on the receiving end
of a company’s decision making process, CIOs need to be
part of the decision making process.”

How to get what you want from
internal customers
As a service provider to its business partners, the IT function
can deepen its working relationship with business by offering things that IT wants from its own service providers,
including transparency and innovative solutions.
For example, a transparent system for managing and prioritizing the multitude of IT service requests coming from
business can bring a certain level of fairness and efficiency
to what is often a fairly chaotic process. “A CIO faces a level
of demand for services that often exceeds the supply of
available IT and business resources,” says Timothy Heffron,
of Meritor. A sound governance process, coupled with a
demand management and capacity planning tool set, can
help organize IT demand and focus the prioritization and
resource allocation discussions on business valu – in a way

18

// CIO Straight Talk

that everyone can view and understand. “This is hardly a
silver bullet, but it helps manage the expectations of customers, given that most organizations have various forms of
capacity constraints.”
A CIO can earn the respect and gratitude of business
customers by bringing forward innovative, actionable ideas,
just as the CIO hopes an IT service provider will do. In fact,
some of those ideas will originate with a service provider.
“The challenge is taking it from concept to an actionable
decision,” says McAvey. “If you can work together with
business to get to the point of decision, you’ve got a partner,
and if the idea makes business sense, you have already established your justification for proceeding. It is easy to build
support for such opportunities – just communicate.”
This kind of activity can change the nature of a CIO’s
relationship with business. For one thing, when your
business customer calls, it may be to talk about business, not
to report that something’s not working.

How to get what you want from the
IT organization
Don’t forget where you came from.
That’s the advice some CIOs have for their peers, as they try
to extract the greatest value from their own organizations.
Yes, you need to learn to speak the language of business –
but you speak your own language when you’re at home.
“You need to talk to your staff in a way that they understand
and that shows you understand them,” Dulka says. “If you’re
only looking at the sales side, if you only talk upwards, your
staff will feel disenfranchised.”
This can be particularly important in times of transition,
when you need your people to be engaged with their work
despite the uncertainty and disruption. And it can be a
problem when someone comes in with little IT background
to shake things up. It will be difficult to get support for
change “if you have a CIO who doesn’t understand the
demands of IT work, that it’s not an 8 to 5 job,” Dulka says.
“It’s important to understand that you have people who will
bleed 24 hours a day for their work.”
It’s important that you understand, and publicly acknowledge, the challenges faced by the IT people – your people.

How to get what you want from
external partners
To achieve the kind of collaborative relationship with
service providers that most CIOs seek requires work from
their side as well as from the service provider.
“In any form of a relationship, you have to sit down and be
explicit about why you are in it and what you are hoping to



CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2

CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2
Contents
So What Do CIOs Want
Innovation at the Periphery
The CIO as Thought Leader
Career Move: From Managing Technology to Managing Change
Every CIO is in the Information Business
Analytics and Decision Making
Putting IT at the Center of the Customer Experience
Pick n Pay Focuses on Delivering Value to Customers
Bringing "Lean" to IT
Whither the Cloud in a Stormy IT Enviroment?
Management by Driving a Stake in the Ground
From Data Processing to Orchestrating Knowledge
Extreme Collaboration
Enterprise Mobility: Delivering the Connected Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover2
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 5
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - So What Do CIOs Want
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 7
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 8
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 9
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 10
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 11
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 12
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 13
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 14
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 15
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 16
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 17
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Innovation at the Periphery
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 19
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 20
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 21
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - The CIO as Thought Leader
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 23
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 24
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 25
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Career Move: From Managing Technology to Managing Change
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 27
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 28
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 29
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Every CIO is in the Information Business
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 31
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 32
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 33
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Analytics and Decision Making
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 35
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 36
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 37
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 38
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 39
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Putting IT at the Center of the Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 41
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 42
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Pick n Pay Focuses on Delivering Value to Customers
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 44
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 45
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 46
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Bringing "Lean" to IT
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 48
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 49
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 50
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Whither the Cloud in a Stormy IT Enviroment?
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 52
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 53
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 54
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 55
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Management by Driving a Stake in the Ground
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 57
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 58
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - From Data Processing to Orchestrating Knowledge
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 60
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 61
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Extreme Collaboration
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 63
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 64
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 65
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Enterprise Mobility: Delivering the Connected Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 67
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 68
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 69
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 70
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 71
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 72
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 73
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 74
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover4
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