Strategic CIO

The Changing Role of the CIO

The role of the Chief Information Officer in today’s rapidly changing marketplace requires   a transformation from a tactical role to one that is more strategic. I recently attended the CIO100 conference sponsored by CIO Magazine. CIOs from Xerox, Fedex, Boeing shared their vision and experiences of how CIOs are gaining a seat-at-the-executive table working with business peers to drive business outcomes. Kim Hammonds, CIO of Boeing, said “information is in everything we do at Boeing” . She went on to talk about how IT solutions are business solutions and it is the responsibility of the CIO to understand the business, develop a business mindset and embed Information technology in the business where it can achieve business value.   Carol Zierhoffer, CIO of Xerox believes CIOs are “business leaders and change agents” who need to promote business growth, focus on customer value, and innovate business processes focusing on creating and/or improving customer value.

In today’s global marketplace CEOs are looking to the CIO to partner with business executives to develop business solutions in the form of products and services that result in increased revenue- sales through existing markets as well as new markets-while optimizing costs. When appropriate information technology is utilized to enable these solutions. So although technology experience is an important competency for the CIO, business experience coupled with the ability to collaboratively partner with the business to develop strategic solutions that achieve business outcomes is a primary requirement for the new role of the Strategic CIO.

Over the next few weeks, we will explore three areas. The first  is the drivers that require CIOs and IT organizations to become more strategic. The second area will provide an example of a Strategic CIO. The third area is an explanation of the five transformational phases required to become a strategic CIO and IT organization.

I look forward to providing my insights on how you can become a strategic CIO, and hope you’ll benefit from some of the best practices I provide in the future!

Phil Weinzimer is president of Strategere Consulting working with clients to develop business and IT strategies that focus on achieving business outcomes. Previously Mr. Weinzimer was Managing Principal-Professional Services for IT Business Management at BMC Software. He has also held Managing Principal positions in the Professional Services organizations for ITM Software, CAI, and Sapient.

Mr. Weinzimer has written a book concerning customer value entitled “Getting IT Right: Creating Customer Value for Market Leadership” and has a forthcoming book, “The Strategic CIO: Creating Customer Value, Increasing Revenue, Enhancing Shareholder Wealth”, will be available in 2013.

Mr. Weinzimer can be contacted at

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