Marc J. Schiller is an IT strategist, author, speaker, and mentor to IT leaders. He has spent more than two decades consulting to the world’s leading companies across three continents. His recently published book, The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT Leaders, provides an unprecedented insiders view into what it takes to be successful as an IT leader today and into the future.
Marc addressed the customer advisory council in HCL recently in Dallas, where CIOs of 18 companies attended along with HCL leadership for and interaction with him. According to him there is a big gap between the strategy and actions of a CIO. If one views the strategic objectives of a CIO, they will sound like – I would like to be an integral part of business; I would like a real seat at the table. One does not hear of such statements from a CFO or CMO. The reason is there is a big gap in vision and action. If one sees that action on where the CIOs spend their money it is mostly on technology, operational efficiency and technical training which are table stakes, whereas they need to invest in leadership skills, business insights, people skills etc which drive a leader. We have lost focus on Information and are more focused on technology in IT. Competency based model was used to evaluate IT leaders by business. Average competency was rated as 1.6 on a scale of 4.0. self rating of IT leadership on alignment with business was 2.72 on a scale of 4.0.
It is important to bridge this gap. IT leadership is not about creating the best technical persons and skills but about thinking like business where we co-define business goals and align to business objectives and build capabilities deliver the goals. Building IT leaders who nurture an influence based leadership style with ownership of business goals will be strategic to any organization.