Do you really know your CEO?

By : |February 28, 2014 0

JAIPUR, INDIA: Sometimes you have to walk the mountain alone, sometimes you have to use a tactical to strategic equation change between a CIO and CEO, and sometimes it depends on individual maturity of the organisation. C N Ram, senior CIO veteran and co-founder of Rural Shores Business Services advises CIOs to take initiative in changing views from the top rooms.

On the other hand, T Srinivasan from VMWare sees the scenario as no more an isolated one as CEOs and CIOs are increasingly moving hand in glove.

Kapil Dev Singh, founder, Coeus Age added a strong remark here – Behind every successful CIO, is an understanding CEO. He also went a step ahead and asked CIOs to confront themselves honestly with a ‘Why’ whenever they meet a ‘No’. “Look out for hidden needs, regulatory pressures, power-showcase issues, other strategic constraints etc. Exposing him to various technologies alone will not suffice. Give him a solution that would be relevant for him. Spend more time with your CEO and look out for what you discuss with your CEO. Ask yourself what happens after that. Understand the pattern.”

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These views foamed up at an explosive panel discussion today at C-Change 2014, titled ‘CIO Proposes, CEO Disposes: Breaking stereotypes about leadership vision and IT roadmaps’.

Giving a different spin to the panel, Moderator Manish Bahl from Forrester took a round of candid comments from CIOs in the audience. Confessed wish-lists ranged from ‘I wish my CEO attended such technology sessions more’ to ‘My CEO is innovative enough, hope he just stays that way’ to ‘CEOs would love any IT initiative as long as ownership goes to the user’.

Satish Pendse from Highbar Technologies tried to bring in another side’s view here.” CEOs do not have that much time, and their life and schedules run in far more uncertain and tense environments that we inhabit. Plus there are KPIs very different than CIOs usually look out for. For instance, once I was trying to sell a green initiative but figured out that it was a small percentage of budget savings in terms of turnover, and I realised that speaking of market share impact would be more apt here.”

Other views that sprung up were – the impact of direct reporting structures on this relationship, building bridges with CFOs and other business heads, functional and informal arrangements with other power structures inside and having a strong elevator-timed proposition whenever you get that time with the CEO.

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