Building a Strong Foundation: Key Priorities for CIOs in Their First 100 Days

by | Jun 27, 2023 | Professional Growth & Careers

It is the most frequent milestone used to measure the success of an incoming President of the United States. You hear about the milestone on the nightly news, as well as when you visit online sites such as CNN and Yahoo!. We are talking about the first 100 days of a new President’s tenure as the leader of the free world.

100 Days.

It does not seem like enough time for a new President to be judged on accomplishments, but that is the consensus time limit for giving the new leader of the free world the chance to establish a track record of success. One-hundred days is also an important milestone for CIOs, although the tech executives do not receive close to the same level of scrutiny as the new President of the United States.

Notwithstanding the short amount of time new CIOs have to direct the tech ship of their organizations, they have a great opportunity to set the tone during the first 100 days of their leadership tenures. The key to setting the right tone for a new CIO requires identifying the key priorities to address during the first 100 days. No, new CIOs do not have to reinvent the wheel during the first 100 days of their new tenures.

However, they must come out of the gate aggressively by pursuing the following key priorities.

Build Strong Relationships with the IT Team

From the first day of your new role as a CIO, you should focus on getting to know each member of the IT team. You cannot expect to develop trust unless you demonstrate your great leadership skills early on during your tenure as the organization’s IT executive. Developing trust begins by operating with transparency, which lets your team members know that you value honesty and integrity in your new leadership role.

Treat each team member with respect and dignity, and you should create a work environment that is conducive to establishing cooperation and collaboration.

Implement a Clear IT Strategy

Because of rapidly changing technology, now more than ever is the time for new CIOs to implement clear IT strategies for their organizations. From addressing the demands placed on your organization by cybersecurity threats to achieving optimal growth through a cloud platform, you must implement a clear IT strategy that is perfectly aligned with your organization’s business goals. You might have to overhaul the current IT infrastructure or simply fine-tune it to meet your vision as the organization’s IT executive.

Improve Customer Service

The new role of a CIO includes incorporating business goals into an IT strategy. One of the most important business goals to achieve for your organization is to find ways that enhance customer experiences. This means developing an IT strategy that improves user experiences, without compromising the new infrastructure you want to build. Follow the timeless adage, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Make the IT department more customer-friendly by understanding their needs, such as why they use your organization’s IT resources to solve difficult problems. Understanding customer needs helps CIOs make the correct IT decisions that also bolster the performance of their teams.

Get Involved in Achieving Business Goals

The rapidly evolving role of a CIO from one of strictly IT concerns to blending IT knowledge with business acumen is the best way to describe the new CIO. During the first 100 days on the job, CIOs must ensure they understand both short and long-term business goals, not just the ones that involve technical solutions. Whether your company needs to increase revenue or reduce employee turnover, CIOs must find ways for the IT department to help achieve the business goals of their organizations.

Setting up IT systems to provide critical business insights should be one goal for every new CIO during the first 100 days on the job.

Leverage the Latest Technologies

Although CIOs new to the job must now focus much more on business goals, this does not mean they should ignore their IT responsibilities. Ensure your organization is at least on its way to leveraging the power of cloud technology for both storing and securing the most sensitive data such as customer financial information. Your organization’s future success hinges partly on integrating technology such as generative AI into business operations. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of your organization’s current level of AI readiness, and then take the steps required to make your organization AI-ready across every department.

Become the Champion for Innovation

Business-focused executives tend to emphasize products over innovation. As the new CIO, one of your top priorities should be to steer your organization away from a product-first business approach to a broader theme of driving innovation. Look for the relationships that foster innovation in your organization for creating new products, as well as delivering exceptional customer service. If you become a champion for innovation, your organization can lead your industry in the introduction of new products and services.

The Bottom Line: Build a Strong Foundation by Setting Actionable Goals

Most American Presidents have established modest agendas in their first 100 days in office to carefully chart their courses over the remaining four years of their terms. As the new CIO of your organization, build a strong foundation for key priorities by setting actionable goals that get positive results before the end of your first 100 days.

After all, actions speak louder than words.


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