I ran across a recent article that puts forth the idea that the CIO–and not the CEO–can most effectively drive transformation in organizations today. The main driver behind this supposition is that CIOs may be the one individual that sits at the crossroads of business needs and technical enablers and, therefore, when allowed, may be able drive change for effectively and efficiently than anyone else.
The authors identified four models (soldiers, leaders of IT, change consultants and transformation leaders) that, as CIOs move up a continuum based on complexity and risk, positions individuals to add greater value to the larger organization.
The sad reality, however, is that most CIOs are viewed only as leaders of IT and are not given the opportunity to add value. Granted, additional leadership responsibility should be earned and not just granted but organizations that have capable leaders occupying the CIO seat are doing themselves a disservice by not leveraging their leaders to the fullest extent possible.
What role could (or should) be better positioned to drive transformation than a leader with deep process knowledge, a will to leverage technology to streamline those processes, and a keen understanding of business needs?