Turnaround CIO

“IT is broken, and it needs fixing…”

So you want to be a turnaround CIO? You want to go into an enterprise and turn around performance and create a sharp improvement in delivered value from IS.

Turnaround CIOs require deep IT experience and the ability to come into a chaotic situation and make things work.

What are the characteristics of a turnaround CIO:

  • Deep IT experience
  • Ability to rebuild
  • Knowing how to prioritize
  • Ability to recognize inefficient business and IT processes
  • Ability to hire/fire staff

How to be a turnaround CIO:

  1. Keep it Basic. Stay with the fundamentals and make sure your decisions are aligned with the business objectives.
  2. Listen. Listen to the business. Listen to your peers and other members of the executive team. Listen to your staff.
  3. Communicate. Let everyone know realistically the costs, the timelines, and the expectations. Communicate often and openly.
  4. Evaluate your staff. Make sure the knowledge is there is to support the organization.
  5. Stay close to and know your key employees. Identify them early. Nurture them. Grow them.
  6. Inventory. Know what technology is in place and how it aligns to your key set of applications. Understand what monitoring systems are in place. Review the knowledge base of the help desk to see where there are the opportunities.
  7. Renegotiate licensing and maintenance terms with your vendors.
  8. Get your applications under control. Understand what guidelines are already in place, adapt and communicate your standards and manage to that expectation.
  9. Institute a sound governance model. Ensure that the demand funnel matches the capacity of the organization and is communicated in a standard format. Utilize strong project management principles.
  10. Continually assess and evaluate. Don’t sit still. Make appropriate changes along the way. Every challenge is different.
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