By Liz Roche
It’s easy to tell what’s top of mind for CIOs by reading the trade press, right? It’s the cloud. Or big data. Or social media. Or providing IT as a service.
All those things are on the list (depending on which list you look at). Social media, for example, is #5 on the IDC list. But I’ve been talking to CIOs lately, and the things on the top of their list are a little different from everyone else’s in IT.
As information technologists, most IT professionals focus on the technology—that’s where their value lies. For most CIOs, though, the technology is not the problem keeping them up at night. (After all, they have an organization full of smart people to deal with that.) They’re concerned about the value that IT delivers to, and alignment with, the business (#2 on the IDC list). Because if they can’t deliver and demonstrate that value, IT begins to look like an expensive bunch of technologists that knows a lot about many things, but whose direct contribution to business goals is difficult to measure.
That drives a set of IT priorities that are more business oriented. So while CIOs might tout the potential of big data (#7 on the IDC list) or mobility (#6), their top three have got to do with IT’s contribution to the whole business. They’re more interested in running the business with IT than running IT as a business.
At HP Discover 2012, I’ll be presenting the results of discussions with dozens of CIOs and a lot of analysis of industry data. If you’re a CIO, you might like to compare your priorities to those of your peers. There’s no single right answer, of course, because each business has different goals and challenges. But there’s a lot of convergence. If you’re not a CIO, maybe you should find out what’s keeping your boss awake at night. I can almost promise you it’s not virtualization or IPv6.
I’ll also show you an approach for organizing the IT service portfolio around the issues that matter most to your business. That’s a reliable way to compare your IT priorities and investments to business priorities. If your #1 priority is the business’s #5 issue, then you may have some thinking to do.
Last month I participated in a closing keynote “fireside chat” at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. Attendees ranged from CIOs of mid-sized businesses to the largest enterprises and government agencies. Interests ranged across the fields of technology and governance, but the common thread was delivering business value. It may not get a lot of coverage in the trade press, but it’s what CIOs talk about over lunch. Perhaps the rest of IT should talk more about it, too.
Learn how HP Strategic IT Advisory Services can help your business or agency thrive.
Follow all the latest and greatest news from HP Discover 2012 at our Buzz page.
Liz Roche is a Strategist with Strategic IT Advisory Services and global leader of portfolio management for HP Technology Consulting. In this role, she is responsible for creating, bringing to market, and managing the portfolio of strategic IT advisory services. She is also an industry-recognized customer relationship management (CRM) expert and was instrumental in evolving the CRM category and best practices. A leading authority on IT strategy and business transformation with 25 years of IT and business experience, she is a frequent industry keynote speaker. Roche has been with HP since 2006. Follow her on Twitter at @lizrathp.