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FCW : November and December 2016
What CIOs should do next A wide-ranging discussion by public- and private-sector IT leaders revealed key drivers for achieving positive mission outcomes BY DAN CHENOK F ederal CIOs, like their private-sector counterparts, lead the integration of IT and organizational strategy. They must balance the daily needs of operational IT across their enterprises with IT’s potential contributions to longer-term mission goals, while at the same time overseeing policy and resources in a challenging fiscal environment. U.S. government CIOs are also in the midst of working with their C-suite colleagues to implement the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, which strengthens the role of CIOs in budgeting and acquisition and fosters a governance framework for agencies’ IT, functional and mission leaders. Given the expanding role for CIOs to help apply IT to addressing key mission objectives, the IBM Center for the Business of Government recently hosted a CIO Leadership Forum with several dozen public- and private-sector IT and C-suite leaders. The non-attribution session explored how CIOs can best drive change in their organizations. Central themes included: • Modernizing the IT that underpins aging infrastructures by taking advantage of the rapid growth in modern cloud, analytic, mobile and cognitive platforms. • Making cybersecurity actionable rather than compliance-oriented. • Capitalizing on the revolution in mobile computing. Here are the major findings and recommendations from the forum participants. 1CIOs must address strategic imperatives for success Participants discussed general considerations for how CIOs and IT leaders can most effectively work across the C-suite in delivering value to any organization, public or private. Key findings included: • CIOs must focus on data that can indicate organizational performance and service quality. Although IT can change over time, analysis of the data produced on IT platforms can lead to insights that often go unobserved. • As data comes to an organization from multiple new sources, including mobile and even wearable devices, privacy concerns must be addressed to protect that data and retain citizen, consumer and employee trust. • At the same time, it is important for CIOs to lead in understanding the value of new technologies and how they can best be adapted to support agency and company missions. That includes a focus on mobile platforms as a base for new applications because a growing number of users access information via mobile devices rather than traditional computers. • Adopting new approaches to technology design and implementation — including agile and DevOps environments, which government CIO and digital services teams have increasingly used in following commercial best practices — can enable CIOs and their government and industry November/December 2016 FCW.COM 23
January and February 2017