Recently, I had blogged about ROI taking on a new definition – Return on Information. In a similar vein, the title CIO (Chief Information Officer) is long overdue for a new definition as well. The meaning of information has evolved and has a lot more significance today — just ask Big Data! The Gartner newsletter titled “Collaborate to maximize business value from strategic information” defines Strategic Information Management for the enterprise, and highlights specific calls to action for the CIO in this context. In this new world of the CIO, the emphasis should be on the word “Information” and therefore, the role should be labeled Chief Officer for Information.
Below are the four calls to action for the CIO mentioned in the Gartner newsletter — along with my observations — which reinforce this new definition.
Roadmap. “CIOs must have a high-level, five-year information outlook on the kinds, types and qualities of information that will be needed.” Information needs for the enterprise must drive the overall IT strategy. But CIOs need to include a healthy dose of innovation with a business purpose. Working closely with the people who have the sexiest job in the 21st century will position the CIO in the driver's seat.
Diagnosis. “Practice deflecting requests for technology into discussions of the change.” CIOs must look beyond the veil of tactical requests and zero in on the underlying root cause. They can take a cue from doctors, meteorologists, scientists and psychologists — any professional that analyzes patterns of behavior to identify a syndrome.
Workforce. “With your internal IT team, identify, create staff for, and train information-focused job roles.” This is validation that the Data Scientist has the sexiest job in the 21st century. CIOs must take a look at the skill sets needed to assess, analyze, diagnose, discern and present information to the right stakeholders at the right time. A new style of IT is emerging. It is going to need a new style of thinking, and a revitalized workforce with new skill sets.
Governance. “With your executive team, evolve an information governance model.” Governance is one of my most frequent topics. I have shared thoughts on how SOA Governance evolved to Cloud Governance, and the fundamental need for Data Governance. After all, it’s the data, stupid — govern it! This newsletter reinforces the need to have the appropriate governance for the most valuable asset for your enterprise — information!
In addition to these four calls to action, I would propose a fifth one:
Value. CIOs must have an effective mechanism in place to assess the Return on Information. There is a simple formula I share in this post on using data that matters. Having the right value measurement framework in the workplace and at home will validate the actions taken by the CIO when defining the roadmap, diagnosing the root cause, establishing the workforce, and evolving an information governance model.
So, how is your enterprise positioned today? Does your enterprise have the information it needs? Have you taken a look at the Information Optimization Transformation Experience Workshop? Please let me now.