A blog for thinking like battle-tested CIOs – Technology management for non-tech executives

From data storage and processing to automation and innovation – the role of information technology in business is far reaching. Even with that impact, some organizations don’t take IT seriously.  

That’s a mistake.  

“Companies don’t take IT seriously because IT isn’t adding value to the companies’ bottom line,”

says Ed Escobedo, TAG CXO fractional executive CIO. “They will often be more interested in keeping the lights on or spending time on the latest technology product, versus recognizing that IT exists to bring value back to the business and serve their customers.” 

According to Ed, “Value is more than just keeping the lights on and the companies’ internal and external systems up, it is driving transformative change through business-centric innovation and cost efficiency.  IT leaders should think of their team as a “business within the business”.  They should run their function, based on a data centric, value-based P&L.  They also should invest in elevating how they are perceived across the business by committing to a branding and marketing process which highlights their successes and progress.” 

“I’ve found that over the course of my career, many IT teams operate with a mindset that you only hear from them when something breaks.  It is important for CIOs to share proactively and regularly the good – the bad – and the ugly with their business partners through aligned KPIs and meaningful metrics.  Those KPIs should be aligned and grounded on their companies’ mission, vision and values framework as a foundation.” 

“The business of IT governance is also extremely important; this includes monthly operational reviews and quarterly business reviews with key influencers inside the organization.  We as technology leaders expect our external vendors to align with us via regular business reviews, we should adopt the same best practices and do the same internally with our key stakeholders.” 

According to Ed, “At the end of the day, transparent and proactive communication is the key ingredient for any IT organization to be taken seriously.” 

How does your IT program demonstrate its value to the organization?  

Is technology a necessary expense or an investment in the long-term growth of your company? 

A solid IT program offers long-lasting value to the company.  

The IT program should always bring value back to the business. Tech KPIs should align with the company, not the technology. IT strategy should be either supporting or leading the business, Escobedo says. 

“Companies should take IT seriously because IT can help them improve efficiency across operations, transform business with innovation and drive sustaining growth through automation,” he says.  

Ideally, an organization should manage its IT program like an investment portfolio. Paul Theisen, principal and founder of TAG CXO, explains how to change your perspective and run your IT operation like a financial investment portfolio: https://tagcxo.com/it-black-hole-or-it-investment-portfolio/

About TAG CXO:

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, TAG CXO is a privately held company, providing Interim and Fractional IT leadership executives, founded in 2019. The company maintains a bench of industry-trained, enterprise-level executives, available on demand to mid-market CEOs. TAG CXO executives help to round out a firm’s leadership team and close the IT talent gap with fully qualified expertise, offering a more affordable, lower-risk option than hiring full-time staff. Learn more at: https://tagcxo.com/.

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