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The Transformational CIO: Leadership and Innovation Strategies for IT Executives in a Rapidly Changing World by Hunter Muller

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Unedited Interview with Marc Benioff

Hunter: As CEO, what do you expect from the IT team in terms of guiding innovation and helping the business accelerate demand creation?

Marc: I expect a lot! IT is a key platform for growth—and it is increasingly being recognized by businesses of all sizes as such.

Lesson

This new convergence of cloud, mobile, and social computing is already happening. If you don't believe Marc, ask the folks at IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Sony, SAP, Cisco, Red Hat, and other major innovators in the information technology industry.

At the most basic level, IT teams are responsible for one of a business's most core assets—its information. IT is not about running a cost center, or keeping up with the maintenance of legacy systems; that's antiquated, as everything is going to the cloud. The best IT teams use technology as a competitive advantage and play a significant strategic role in the growth of an organization. Basically, I expect an IT team to help a company out-innovate and out-execute its competition.

Unfortunately, not all IT teams fully leverage the opportunity they have. Recently I talked to more than 60 CIOs in various meetings throughout America's heartland. I spoke to them about the fundamental shift underway in our industry. I shared how we are moving from Cloud 1, which was about low cost, ease of use, and speed (and has transformed how companies use IT over the past 10 years) to Cloud 2, which is about collaboration, new mobile devices, and ...

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