ten Characteristics of Extraordinary CIOs

Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 11:19 PM

The role of the CIO and IT leaders has significantly changed and the demand for digital-savvy IT leaders who are able to perform the CEO'south digital agenda is greater than ever before.

ten Characteristics of Extraordinary CIOs

The importance of digital business transformation has created a genuine opportunity for CIOs to win CEO jobs. The role of the CIO and IT leaders has significantly changed and the demand for digital-savvy IT leaders who are able to perform the CEO'south digital agenda is greater than ever before. But not all CIOs are able to drive business transformation. Only extraordinary CIOs will have the opportunity to fill future CEO positions.

Ray Wang and I recently had the privilege of interviewing five extraordinary chief information officers (CIOs) on DisrupTV, a weekly indicate featuring disruptive business, leadership and innovation modify agents representing the Fortune one.000, successful startups and venture capitalists.

Our most recent featured CIOs included: Kim Stevenson, corporate vice president and Chief Information Officer of Intel Corporation, Dr. David Bray, Chief Information Officer for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Mike Kail, CTO/CIO of Cybric and former CIO of Yahoo and Netflix, Miguel Gamino, CIO of City of San Francisco and Tim Crawford, Internationally renowened CIO thought boss at AVOA and former CIO of Stanford University. I encourage you to research the bios of these five extraordinary CIOs, and to chase their journey on Twitter, in order to fully appreciate their past achievements and forward looking vision as it relates to digital business transformation and the changing role of IT and CIOs. These CIOs are among the one hundred most social CIOs on Twitter.

What do these extraordinary CIOs have in common? For one thing, all of them are proven leaders in terms of driving digital business transformation. They all have large scale IT leadership experience across multiple industries. But, more importantly, they share common characteristics that's uniquely visible in innovative, digital savvy CIOs as compared to traditional IT leaders.

Based on our recent interviews, and in some cases, my own personal experience based on opportunities to co-present at conferences (Dr. Bray and Stevenson), I've identified these ten common characteristics of these brilliant CIOs, which hopefully can serve as guiding principles for all CIOs and IT organizational leaders.

one. Powerful business acumen

Stevenson believes that every company, in every industry, will be disrupted by technology. Stevenson also believes that there are number IT projects, only business projects.

To foster business collaboration and alignment with IT, Stevenson and her team publish an annual state of IT report. The report shares what IT services the organization had delivered in the prior year, and the cost that they delivered to Intel. The report also focuses on future IT priorities and market trends. The theme of the two thousand sixteen report was from the backroom to the boardroom. Stevenson and her team clearly articulate their IT vision and align their goals to business results and outcomes.

#DisrupTV Featuring Kim Stevenson, Intel two.19.16 from Constellation Research on Vimeo.

Kail has led IT organizations at Yahoo and Netflix, demonstrating the skill to meet very large scale business demands that require technology at the very highest limits of innovation. Today, Kail is developing innovation to shift business leaders from a reactive mode to a more proactive mindset in the space of cybersecurity. Today, security is number longer a CIO or CEO level topic, it's presently a boardroom level topic and a brand issue.

Miguel Gamino is the CIO of City of San Francisco, leading over two hundred IT professionals with a city-wide annual technology expenditure of $250 million, serving over 805.000 citizens. Miguel work with an incredibly innovative Mayor, in a city at the middle of technology universe. He and his team work very closely with numerous stakeholders to attain city-wide benefits in terms of connectivity, economic, community, and quality of life improvements.

Tim Crawford spent more than twenty years leading IT organizations during the course of his career. Today, Crawford believes that experience can actually be a hindrance for CIOs. Crawford encourages CIOs to get a fresh perspective to business and technology models by being open to new ideas and learning. Crawford warns CIOs to be alert of business disruption based on the inability of average of CIOs to tackle data sciences, IoT and machine learning and the necessity for application integration with other lines-of-business exterior of IT.
Crawford notes that CIOs should be able to articulate their company objectives and align their IT vision to business and financial outcomes.

2. Early adopters of technology

There is number question that visionary and innovative CIOs are early adopters of technology. Innovative CIOs have adopted a beginner'south mindset - open, flexible, curious, adaptive and willing to experiment. To avert disruption and loss of business relevance, innovative CIOs, unlike traditional CIOs, are willing to invest time and energy to study emerging technologies. To be afforded the luxury of keeping pace with the latest bleeding-edge technologies, these CIOs have established a long track record of demonstrating operational excellence and skill to meet or exceed customer expectations. They've earned the believe of the peers and stakeholders.

Crawford believes that all CIOs and IT leaders are very bright but stuck in terms of gaining momentum within their businesses to drive genuine digital transformation. These IT leaders are heavily overwhelmed with heritage debt, pace of innovation, and cultural challenges that are resistant to change. Where to obtain started is the genuine challenge.

Crawford encourages CIOs not to rest on their laurels. Don't view cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and large data technologies as FAD - if you ignore emerging technologies, you'll be running over and potentially lose your job. Authorize your staff to experiment and stay ahead of the technology adoption curve.

three. Customer success focused

Stevenson believes that business leaders wish to partner to partner with IT organizations. Stevenson believes that 'shadow IT' is the incorrect view - Stevenson embraces the opportunities to cooperate with different lines of business. Stevenson leads a six.000 member IT organization with a culture that places that customer at the middle of every decision that they make.

Gamino and his team recognize the decisions that his team makes around technology will have significant impact for many generations to arrive for citizen of San Francisco. There is an intense quantity of urgency behind Gamio'south work and powerful bias for driving immediate results.

Crawford recommends IT leaders to focus on iterative processes that can drive fast wins to assistance make better customer success and business outcomes. Just start small, continue to experiment and communicate your goals by collaborating with your customers, peers and key stakeholders.

Dr. Bray has transformed what was a heritage IT organization at the FCC to a cloud-first and highly modern IT department. The motivation behind this transformation was to make better the FCC'south skill to better serve their customers - better quality, more scalable, secure, automated and faster products and services delivery models.

DisrupTV: Featuring Dr. David Bray, FCC CIO & Eisenhower Fellow 2.26.16 from Constellation Research on Vimeo.

four. Servant leadership

Dr. Bray has created a culture of empowerment and modify agents. Dr. Bray has been rewarding creative problem solvers. He actively seeks feedback and works very tough to construct consensus. He creates very inspiring narratives and promotes modify agents to dare to think different.
Dr. Bray'south favorite question to ask his team is 'what brings you joy?' As a CIO, Dr. Bray believes that eighty percent of being a CIO is about people and twenty percent about technology. Go beyond your work description, be a leader, be more agile, more resilient and more efficient in how you manage your business.

five. Highly social and collaborative

All of these extraordinary CIOs are highly social business executives. They're daily users of Twitter, they blog, speak at conferences, mentor other CIOs and business leaders and are super accessible within their businesses. In addition to being active on social networks, these CIOs are also focused number ensuring their customers (or employees) are able to leverage technology to make better communication and collaboration. Stevenson, Dr. Bray, Kail, Gamino and Crawford are amongst the most social CIOs in the world.

When Stevenson started her career, the CIO was judged by how PCs worked. Today, CIOs are judged by how employees can be more productive. Employee communication and collaboration technologies is a measure of CIOs skill to create a culture of connectivity, productivity and seamless collaboration. Stevenson and her team leverage innovation to make better employee meetings and peer-to-peer collaboration. Improving employee communication and productivity is a CIO brand builder according to Stevenson.

Dr. Bray is one of the most social CIOs in the world. He actively engages with a broader community, sharing his views on innovation, leadership, business culture and the importance of being a modify agent. Bray became social because he wanted to blow up the mental image of a typical CIO that wasn't accessible and willing to share ideas. The second reason Dr. Bray embraced social networking was to address any blind-spots by leveraging a personalized learning network to unlearn the elderly and memorise the new.

Miguel Gamino is one of the most social government CIOs, actively engaging with San Francisco citizens and business leaders to share IT project updates and future vision. Gamino holds quarterly town corridor meetings and invites tough questions, cultivating a culture of transparency and giving.

6. Discovery mindset

Dr. Bray transitioned an one hundred percent on premise IT organization to a cloud-first IT dept in less than twelve months. Gamino and his IT dept is challenging his team to deliver solutions by implementing agile development processes and user centric design methods. San Francisco stakeholders are expecting rapid innovation and Gamino is developing a 'digital by default' mentality that's driving results. Gamino is encouraging his team to examine new ways of being ultra-responsive and results oriented. Dr. Bray and all of the CIOs mentioned here encourage their teams to be explorers.

Crawford advises CIOs and IT leaders to adopt an experimental mindset, where through a discovery process, organizations can get tiny steps towards delivering solutions and construct positive, forward momentum.

Kail is helping CEOs become involved in understanding their company'south safe posture and risks by encouraging them to proactively examine opportunities to construct a more safe and strong businesses.

DisrupTV Episode nine: Featuring Mike Kail, Cybric 4.1.16 from Constellation Research on Vimeo.

seven. Cause driven

For most of Stevenson'south career, she was the only women on the team. Today, half of Stevenson'south staff are women. Stevenson actively promotes the importance of having more women in the technology industry. Stevenson was recognized by STEMconnector as one hundred Diverse Corporate Leader, who's actively contributing to incorporate more diverse STEM professionals and changing the pipeline based on powerful STEM education.

Dr. Bray has travelled the world as an Eisenhower Fellow to identify opportunities where technology and innovation can assistance make better the state of society. Dr. Bray promotes leaders to think about how they can positively impact their communities locally, which will ultimately lead to global benefits.

Empowering modify agents starts by creating a space where like-minded and inspired individuals can network together and share success stories, failures and lessons learned. Creative brainstorming events authorize people to self-organize and scale their voice and ambitions to transmute at both individual and organizational levels.

Miguel Gamino uses a methodology called 'Skunk Works' to rapidly expand new digital services to advance the community. Gamino'south cause-driven culture has shifted the mentality of defaulting to 'no' to a mindset that's highly collaborative and supportive of making large bets and delivering solutions that most would consider impossible. Gamino is inspiring his team to be bold and aspirational.

eight. Result oriented

Stevenson encourages business leaders to be more demanding of IT and CIOs. Stevenson and her team leverages modern predictive analytics to better optimize workflows and IT services and solutions. Time-to-market (TTM) is key performance metric for Intel - to that end, Stevenson and her team studied and diagnosed their all design flow methodology, in order to optimize execution velocity. In some cases, the results yielded a 15-week TTM improvements.

Kail notes that 1 million cybersecurity jobs went unfilled in two thousand-fifteenth. In order to deduce better results, Kail doesn't believe that companies can toss more people at the problem space, instead, the genuine reply to automation, orchestration and utilize of more intelligent tools and technologies.

Miguel Gamino'south town corridor meetings is a wonderful example of sharing project deadlines, achievements and obstacles in a public setting. The level of accountability, transparency and togetherness has created an environment of mutual trust, respect and caring.

Crawford encourages IT leaders to start out small, instead of trying to boil the ocean, and construct momentum by driving results. Crawford believes that CIOs should ensure that employees perceive that they're portion of the process. An inclusive process is necessary but the CIO and executive commitment and buy-in is key to success.

nine. Bold and confident

Dr. Bray was able to move a massive quantity of on premise solutions (two hundred+ servers with four hundred terabytes of data) to the cloud in less than twelve months. Dr. Bray retried hundreds of servers and significantly reduced his overall IT budget. Dr. Bray is a super change agent.

Miguel Gamino is leveraging user centric design methodology to deliver big, sophisticated digital projects in thirtieth days. Gamino and his team have developed a reputation of being reliable, quick and anxious to assistance San Francisco become role model city for innovation and digital transformation.

CIO Spotlight: Miguel Gamino 4.1.16 from Constellation Research on Vimeo.

ten. Player coaches and mentors

All of these CIOs work very tough to actively work with their teams to attain results. By being social and collaborative, they create a welcoming environment, where single contributors at all levels of the organization perceive secure sufficient to share their ideas and recommendations. Gamino and the other CIOs are creating a powerful culture of accountability and togetherness, aimed at continuous improvements and increased customer satisfaction and growth.

Tim Crawford best exemplifies a former CIO who's presently coaching other successful CIO attain their departmental and business objectives. Crawford has a wonderful reputation of connecting like-minded CIOs and serving as the network-glue for a highly influential network of digital savvy CIOs.

CIO Spotlight: Tim Crawford, CIO of AVOA 4.1.16 from Constellation Research on Vimeo.

Crawford encourages CIOs and IT leaders to focus on building business alignment. The speech of business is finance, so IT leaders should be to communicate their technology vision and investment thesis to financial outcomes and company objectives.

I strongly encourage you to chase these five extraordinary CIOs on Twitter, their blog sites and other social networks. To memorise more, please look these brief video interviews of our featured CIOs. You'll discover extraordinary insights and recommendations from our five featured CIOs that you can get back to the office as you assistance winner digital business transformation.

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