CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 33

and innovation.

ost CIOs today know that regardless of
the industry we are in, we are first and
foremost in the information business.
The “I” in IT stands for information.
Because of information, the “I” also can
stand for insight, intelligence, integration

Many C-suite executives focus on the “T” in IT. But as we
so well know, technology – the servers, networks, email –
is now a commodity. It should be invisible, reliable and
have increasingly lower per-unit costs. It should not be the
real focus of our C-level executives.
It is by focusing on the “I” – the information, insight,
intelligence, integration and innovation – that CIOs will
enable and drive business value.

The Evolution of IT Leaders
Years ago, if you wanted to work in IT, it seemed like you
needed to be a rocket scientist. The persona and stereotypical role of an IT leader was that of a geek who had to
know how to talk machine language but did not necessarily have to know how to speak the language of the
business or even speak to other people.
In the next stage of IT’s evolution, we saw more and more
IT leaders who were able to understand the needs of the
business and converse with the business leaders. However, they still could not sit at the table with their business
partners and had to stand outside the door and try to hear
what was going on inside the room. The CIOs typically
reported to the CFO, as a result of the general perception
that IT is just an expense – again, the focus was clearly on
the “T” – a part of the business that has a lot of costs
associated with it.
Today we see, at least in some companies, that CIOs are
viewed as full partners and are invited to sit at the table
during the business and strategy discussions. In order to
stay at the table, the value CIOs provide must be apparent,
tangible and achievable. At these companies, senior
executives realize that IT is the key to differentiation and
competitive advantage. As a result, the CIO can report to
the CEO or the COO and the information strategy
becomes an integral part of achieving the business
outcomes. However, there clearly are still many companies around the world where IT is treated as just a cost to
be reduced.
While we see that the stature of IT leaders has been
elevated and IT’s added-value has been recognized, we
also see new challenges to IT’s success because of what
has been called the consumerization of IT. There are
business leaders now who are able to act as “CIOs” or
“CTOs” in their home. As they have successfully
managed the home network, file shares and print shares,
security and virus protection, they sometimes take the
notion that they are a CIO to the office!

With the rise of mobile computing and cloud computing,
and especially with the availability of software-as-aservice, more and more business leaders sign a contract
with outside providers without IT’s knowledge and
participation. This creates chaos in the organization. The
fact that now you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to
manage IT has resulted in both a new recognition of the
power of IT but also leads to the potential uninformed use
of this power by business leaders.

Change Your Bait, Make a Difference
At times like this, when rapid change brings about new
challenges and new pressures on CIOs, my advice has
always been, “If you don’t like the fish you are catching,
you should change your bait.” Rather than complain about
the business circumstances I am in, if I am not happy
about it, I seek to change it.
I grew up in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house living
quite poorly with my family of seven. Fortunately, the
value of education was instilled in me by my parents from
a very young age. When I went to college, I earned my
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in four years. After I got
my MBA, it was with IBM’s systems engineering that my
career took shape and enabled me to move all around the
country, in increasingly more responsible roles.
The death of my parents, who died within a year of each
other, was a life changing situation for me. It made clear
to me that not only am I responsible for making the best of
the circumstances I find myself in, but also that I have a
responsibility to make a difference for others. Even
though my mother was a nurse’s aide and worked in a
hospital, when she got the disease that she ultimately died
from, she did not have access to good healthcare – not in
terms of prevention nor of diagnosis nor of treatment.
I felt that neither the industry I was in at the time nor the
role I was playing enabled me to feel that I was helping to
make a difference, to improve the outcomes of people’s
lives. So I decided to mix IT with healthcare and joined
Johnson & Johnson. This was in the mid-1990s and to this
day I haven’t stopped believing in my ability, through
information and technology, combined with the healthcare companies I have worked for, to enable people to feel
better, be healthier and live longer.

The fact that now you don’t need
to be a rocket scientist to manage
IT has resulted in both a new
recognition of the power of IT
but also leads to the potential
uninformed use of this power by
business leaders.
CIO Straight Talk //

33



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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