Claims of IT-enabled Business Transformation

A CIO who claims total responsibility for business transformation through IT is most likely lucky or fooling themselves (or others). Successful business transformation typically requires collective and collaborative action from different professional groups and teams, whether enabled by IT or not.

It is the role of the CIO to stimulate creative thinking about the ‘art of the possible’, to facilitate and to de-risk change underpinned by technology. But delivery requires co-production with service and business leaders – it’s not a ‘one-man-band’. Indeed, IT is often the easy bit, with the main challenge lying in cultural and process change.

The CIO’s experience of technology opportunity, programme management and business processes can help lead change and, above all, can create a common platform of standards, systems, infrastructure and shared electronic transactions which underpins delivery. But it needs joint working, often leading through others. That’s why the role of the best CIOs is as much political as it is technological.

So next time we update our CV let’s focus on the business enablement we have created, rather than claiming full-blooded, single-handed business transformation delivery.

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