the strategiC Cio
Strategic CIOs attain the role from dierent paths. One path could be
from within the company either from the IT organization or from one
of the business units. Other paths could be from a company within a
similar industry or dierent industries, with or without an extensive IT
background. Regardless of the path, the CIO needs to understand the
company business strategy, competitive market, and industry trends.
How CIOs gain business knowledge, depending on their background
and path to their current role, is the subject of this chapter. Following
is a brief summary of how the CIOs discussed in this chapter learned
about their company.
B. KEY POINTS
1. A strategic CIO will not be successful without a well-
based understanding of how the business operates.
2. e depth of understanding includes knowledge of the
key processes across the entire value enterprise.
3. CIOs move into the role from the business, within IT,
from other companies, in similar or dissimilar industries.
4. CIOs learn about the business in dierent ways, depend-
ing on experience.
1. CIOs and IT directors share their experiences in learn-
ing about the business.
• Mike McClaskey, CIO, Dish Network
• Scott Blanchette, CIO, Vanguard Health
• Steve O’Connor, vice president and CIO, CSAA
• Niel Nickolaisen, CIO, Western Governor’s University
• Kevin B. Michaelis, vice president, Global IT, and
CIO, Air Products and Chemicals
• Greg Lewis, IT director, Ironclad
2. Training Tomorrow’s business leaders and CIOs
• Dick Brandt—Director, Iacocca Institute—Global