Your first year as CIO has shown mixed results. You've made some nice contributions in speeding up applications development and unlocking the potential of virtualization. But you've been either unwilling or unable to connect your team's performance and compensation to the business value the IT organization delivers. In the absence of that visibility, Chris, how can I as CEO get an accurate fix on how you and your team are doing? How can I know whether to promote you to the Executive Committee -- a role I believe a strategic CIO should have -- or fire you?
This need to tie IT performance and compensation to business value has a profound impact on this company's ability to succeed with customers and succeed with shareholders -- and outside of that, what else matters? Before the end of the quarter, you need to complete the "Business Value of IT" analysis that we have discussed and that I have championed on your behalf. If you don't, then you'll have proven that while you're a solid senior director of IT, you're just not qualified to be CIO.
I need a CIO who can clearly and simply show me, in plain language, whether the $85 million we'll spend on IT in 2009 is helping us or dragging us down. And that is unacceptable. Let me repeat this question because it's the only one that matters right now for you and me: What specific business value is the company gaining from spending $85 million on IT under your leadership?
At the Management Committee meeting yesterday, you cited a "Salary Survey" report from InformationWeek, and from all of the interesting statistics you pulled from that study, I want to focus on two that are particularly relevant to our company. (1) Last year, 43% of IT staffers felt strongly secure in their jobs, while this year only 32% feel as secure; and (2), nine out of 10 IT pros believe their career path is as secure or more secure than most other professions.
First of all, Chris, it's not your job to be worried about their feelings of "job security," but it sure as heck IS your job to let them know whether they're creating value for the company or doing irrelevant busywork. Second, it's also your job to know that yourself. And third, it's also your job to get me that information as well. Here are four quick examples:
As you know, we work with executive-search firm Spencer Stuart on a regular basis, and to help you get an unmistakable sense of what I'm driving at, I asked them about trends they're seeing in the CIO role. They passed along these excerpts from a recent report they've prepared called "The Future Of IT Leadership: The Strategic CIO." I'd like you to consider how your business value can incorporate this type of thinking as expressed by State Street CIO Christopher Perretta and Motorola CIO Patricia Morrison.
I think you get the picture, Chris, and I think you have it in you to do a great job in this role. But you need to bear in mind above all else that a CIO is a business leader who sets and executes a business technology strategy that creates business and customer value. And if you can't quantify for me how you're doing that, then I can't have you as CIO. Let's talk soon.
Bob Evans is senior VP and director of
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