CIOs As Rainmakers: The New Meme, Deconstructed
When your CEO or CFO asks you to be a rainmaker, it's a call for help. Wrap it all in context and respond in a holistic way.
What do the old revenue generators do? Does HR now have to make money as well? Does IT have to be good at IT anymore? Business leaders keep finding new things for IT leaders to run, so do we get to lay off the people they're replacing?
The consumerization of IT, the rise of the tech savvy CMO and the Hollywood-like yearning to take complex situations and simplify them into 15-second sound bites all mean that CIOs will come under fire by the ignorant.
Obviously, there are bad IT organizations and bad CIOs. But that doesn't mean that IT needs to go sing for its supper. Plenty of good CIOs have been engaging in this money-making activity for years -- in partnership with those people whose primary job it is.
Pundits called that practice "aligning IT with the business" until, starved for new material, they decided that this was no longer enough. Trust me: The "new rainmaker" will also fall out of fashion. But moving in concert with the business and helping sales, marketing and other departments achieve objectives like making money -- also known as helping the organization achieve critical goals -- will never fall out of fashion.
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