For the modern-day CEO wishing to instill strategic transformations in his or her company, deeper knowledge of underlying technologies is critical. That’s the assessment from a major research study (Business Week story here) carried out by the Cranfield School of Management, one of the top business schools in the U.K. Traditionally, technology has often been relegated (and many would say siloed) to the sole dominion of the IT department. The research concludes this is a mistake.
The study tracked more than a thousand projects, and it found CEOs who tried to transfer ownership of major technology initiatives solely to CIOs or CTOs, risked projects that were costly, prone to failure, and poorly understood by key stakeholders in the corporation. The study emphasized the necessity of CEOs and CIOs working closely together on technology initiatives to ensure success and align reality with vision. For this to happen the CEO needs to become more technology savvy and involved.
Key CEO-related issues in the study include:
• Creating transformational value rather than one-off IT projects
• Building capability for change so IT reflects the company’s business model rather than becoming the business model
• Establishing open communication so employees and stakeholders know what to expect from technology initiatives
• Managing risk with confidence
• Reorganizing IT issues so that IT change is driven from the top down