Are You a 21st Century CIO?

By Lucie Poulicakos, General Manager & Vice President, TierPoint

The role of the CIO or CTO—or even IT manager—hasn’t been around that long. According to CIO.com, the title of CIO didn’t come into existence until sometime in the late ’80s or early ’90s. Even then, it was seen as a “trendy title,” but “often at the same level as the IT manager or MIS manager.” Not the role most CIOs probably envisioned when they finally earned their promotion!

cio_lucie_tierpoint

As technology advanced, so too did the role of the CIO and CTO. It’s been said that every organization is a technology organization these days. There’s certainly some truth to that. Everyone from C-level executive, to salesperson, to receptionist relies on technology to get the job done. Managing this level of complexity requires someone with the capacity to look at the big picture and to understand how all the pieces fit together. Somewhere in the 15 years, the role of CIO transitioned from a “trendy title” to a “must have” for every organization. And the role isn’t done changing yet. Continue reading

Executive Sponsorship: Don’t Migrate to the Cloud Without It

Exec Level Sponsorship_Cloud Migration

By Octavio Morales, Senior Vice President — Operations

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in or what type of project you’re managing. Change is hard. The bigger the change, the more you need senior leadership to help pave the way. Migrating to the cloud can fall into this category. And, while you might have a C-level executive such as a CIO or CTO driving the project, here are a handful of reasons why it can be a good idea to enlist executive sponsorship from outside the IT realm as well:

Alignment to business goals. In the Society for Information Management’s latest survey of Chief Information Officers, alignment to IT was the number one issue for CIOs in 2016. Having an executive sponsor from the business side of the organization can help you understand how your cloud migration strategy needs to support the business and articulate the business benefits of your strategy to others.

Cost/benefit analysis. When you migrate to the cloud, decisions will need to be made that require a thorough understanding of the cost/benefits analysis. For example, which cloud model suits your organization best: public? private? hosted private? colocation? hybrid? The most effective solution may not always look the least expensive on paper. An executive who can articulate the business reasons for choosing one over the other to the rest of the C-Suite can be an invaluable ally. Continue reading

Five Ways to Make IT More Strategic

By Chris Scaglione, VP & General Manager, TierPoint

If you’ve been reading anything about IT leadership in the last year, you’re familiar with the drum beat of advice to “be more strategic.”  But that’s easier said than done.  Many c-suite executives still view IT as a service provider, not a strategic partner.  How do you persuade your peers, your CEO and even your Board to embrace IT’s strategic role?

To get traction for transforming your role, begin by laying the groundwork with these ideas, which CIOs nationwide identified as some of their highest priorities at the WSJ CIO Network earlier this year.

1. Begin with operational excellence.

If you are engaged in a traditional organization that values IT (primarily) for operational excellence, your performance against those expectations must be consistently of the highest quality to play at a higher level.  Simply put, operational excellence equals credibility.

If your service reputation is poor or middling, your journey towards playing a more strategic role starts by focusing on achieving operational excellence first. Continue reading