Over the last couple of blogs I've been looking at a series of reports published by the Harvard Business Review as part of The Enterprisers Project, an online community set up to discuss the evolving role of CIOs and how they can maximise their impact on businesses faced with the need to successfully embrace the forces of digital disruption.
In particular, I've been looking at the three reports that proved most popular with readers. While these might focus on the role of the CIO and IT, what emerges strongly time and time again is that no matter how enlightened and effective the CIO is, unless the highest levels of the organisation understand the impacts and potential opportunities produced by digital disruption, nothing much will happen.
The second most popular Enterprisers Project report was Business Transformation and the CIO Role. Its conclusions are based on a survey of 329 members of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council supplemented with 91 Harvard Business Review enewsletter subscribers. Almost half (44 percent) of respondents were part of an IT decision making team; 46 percent made recommendations but not the final IT decision, and 10 percent were the primary decision makers in their organisations.
The report identified "Innovation Accelerator" companies that are "significantly ahead of their competitors when it comes to IT innovation — including the extent to which they have successfully commercialised internal IT initiatives." And it identified "six key characteristics these Accelerator companies share that can help provide a roadmap for others seeking to transform their businesses."
Guess what characteristic topped the list. "It begins with a commitment from the CEO that is shared by the company’s cross-functional leadership." The report says: "CIOs at Accelerator companies are significantly more likely to play a strategic role in the business as a key player on the CEO’s growth team."
A strategic role for the CIO is to be ... continue reading: "How to be a digitally transformative CIO"
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