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The Practical CIO: A Common Sense Guide for Successful IT Leadership by Tony Scott, Jose Carlos Eiras

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Chapter 3. Design the IT Strategy

You Were Hired to Solve a Crisis, But...

Despite what everyone would like you to believe, most CIOs are hired to solve a crisis or deal with a set of problems that the prior CIO could not manage. Whether the previous CIO got the boot, or simply walked away from a messy situation, the result is the same. The new CIO is expected to clean up the mess without delay.

If you are a newly hired CIO, there is no escaping the nature of your situation. You are likely to spend your first two or three months on the job dealing with tactical issues. That is the truth, so there is no point in denying it.

But—and this is a big but—the gritty reality of your situation does not remove your obligation to develop a practical strategy for IT. Nor does it relieve you from the duty of writing out a strategic plan and implementing that plan to the best of your ability.

If you are not thinking and acting strategically, then you are merely following orders and responding to pressure. The role of the CIO demands more than that. You must be a leader.

Unfortunately, the leadership skills required to become a great CIO are usually learned on the ...

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