A CIO new to a company is tasked with the overwhelming duty of making sure enterprise technology is fluidly running. They must quickly adapt to decide what is best for their organization with the constant pressure of staying ahead of tech trends and ensuring strong cybersecurity. The following are a few tips for what a CIO can do in their first week on the job.
1. Reach out
Unlike in the past, CIOs should keep in mind that the IT team is no longer a silo that operates independently from the business, said Jason Zintak, CEO of Platfora.
"Over the past 24 months in particular, we've seen that the world really has changed for CIOs," said Zintak. "For instance, IT-driven Big Data initiatives tend to flounder or fail unless IT is working in tandem with business leaders. This is a dramatic change in a very short time."
So in their first weeks on the job, Zintak said, a CIO should engage with their business counterparts to establish connections and foster collaborative relationships.
Building an inventory of the people a new CIO should meet with over the first 90 days—both internal and external to IT—is critical, according to Paul Brady, CIO at the Arbella Insurance Group. CIOs should also approach those personnel with a clean slate.
"Leave your perceptions at the door—listen, learn and understand," said Brady. "You might not fully agree with the decisions that have been made in the past, but until you understand why those decisions are made, now is not the time to judge."
2. Use analytics to get smart fast
New CIOs should gather the "voice of the customer data" to identify both the strengths of the IT organization and the potential opportunities, Brady said. "Lead with the strengths when presenting your findings both internally and externally."
Analytics can also help a CIO understand exactly what is happening with technology in a company.
Cloud-based tools with analytics capabilities can help CIOs" understand how the technology is being used and how to deploy it," said Shaun Ritchie, CEO of Eventboard.
For instance, BlueJeans can show CIOs how much money companies have saved by using video conferencing as a substitute for work-related travel, Ritchie said. And both BlueJeans and Eventboard can determine how technology is being used (or not used) across the company.
"This enables the CIO to make smart decisions on how to roll out this technology," said Ritchie. "Having these insights makes for smarter tech decision making and helps (the new CIO) better manage the bottom line."
3. Streamline daily operations
CIOs should also strive to reduce daily clutter and inefficient processes that can take energy away from their more critical tasks. Meetings and email are common culprits. Fortunately, a variety of tech tools available today can help companies reclaim productivity by providing useful backend insights that enable informed decisions around these types of activities.
"Meeting room scheduling errors, lack of meeting space and the inability to end meetings on time account for 40% of employees spending up to 30 minutes a day looking for meeting space," said Ritchie.
Meanwhile, a global study released by BlueJeans Network found that 43% of employees believe that email communications have gotten out of control at their companies.
"New CIOs should look to implement real-time collaboration tools like Slack or BlueJeans (video conferencing) to help cut down on email congestion and uplevel productivity, which is a benefit that real time communication can provide," said Ritchie.