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The Tech Break

CEO vs. CIO: Setting Expectations

Oct 05, 2016 / by Matt Hannula

Long gone are the days of business and IT segregation.

More than ever before Business Executives and IT Executives need to work in the same board room.

While the collaboration between these two parties must be constant, it is still a fairly new practice and these relationships can falter.

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The biggest hurdle we see in a Business Executive and IT Executive relationship is setting expectations.

Mr. CEO walks into MR. CIO’s office and says we need to be more efficient, therefore we must go to the cloud NOW!

While Mr. CEO has heard all the buzz words about Cloud, how much you can save, and how it makes things more simple. Mr. CIO sees a complicated matrix of time, resources, and expertise needed to perform the “simple” task of going to the Cloud.

Here lies the issue.

Mr. CEO is focused on the business and  does not have the time to understand IT well enough to know that Cloud migration is really tricky. And when beginning your cloud migration strategy you want to go after the low hanging fruit. This low hanging fruit may not be what the CXO wants or imagined when going to the cloud.

But the pressure is on. Mr. CEO says we need this and we need it now. He is not concerned about the myriad of intricacies it takes to move to the cloud. They just know they need to be in the cloud and they are harping on IT to get it done.

As the pressure builds the CIO finally says “okay we will do it.” This is where disaster occurs.

  1. Does your current team have the bandwidth to keep the ship afloat while at the same time begin a cloud migration?
  2. Do you have enough budget and time to make sure you can afford the migration?
  3. Does your team have the experience and expertise to make sure the cloud migration is successful and does not damage the business during or post migration?

Some of these things can be easily answered before a migration but many of these things become a “oh sh**” moment in the midst of such a complicated project.

This is where setting expectations is critical. IT Executives need to educate their CEOs, CFOs, COOs or whomever it may be about the risks, the costs, the budget, the resources, time, and expertise needed for things that seem “simple” on the outside.

At the same time, CIOs need to be in more collabroation with the business goals and objectives of the business. Close working relationships, collaboration, and setting expectations between a CEO and CIO is a major competitive advantage.

If you want to read more, check out this article on how the CIO can help the CEO drive business growth and innovation.

Also if you are a CIO or CEO and have been thinking about how, when, or what to migrate to the cloud, check out this very helpful Cloud Checklist below.

Topics: IT, IT Solutions, Security, Technology Partner, technology solutions, migration, Cloud Migration, CIo, CEO

Matt Hannula

Written by Matt Hannula