Upland Software’s Principal Consultant, Jonathan Walls, recently sat down with Today’s CIO to share three essential skills that all of today’s CIOs need in order to lead. From the digitization of every business process to the acceleration of bring your own device (BYOD) policies, today’s CIOs are forced to lead through a very interesting point in time.
In addition to managing through this big web of change, CIOs continue to be held accountable for articulating the value of technology to their C-suite peers. Unfortunately, the C-suite often remains unclear about what their technology is affording them. CIOs must work to provide the right advice and support to their peers in order to remain a trusted executive partner.
Here are Jonathan’s recommendations for the three key skills CIOs need to play a leading role within their organization:
- Building trust through transparency
- Building credibility through delivery
- Shifting from negotiations to collaboration
The first key skill centers on Upland’s IT financial management (ITFM) process, provided by ComSci to help organizations manage and communicate the cost, quality and value of the services they deliver to the enterprise. Financial misunderstandings can negatively impact even the strongest of business relationships. In the interview, Jonathan shares the worst kept secret in IT departments – that their financial processes still consist of updating manual, error-prone spreadsheets. By using this convoluted and inefficient process, consumers of IT services remain unable to relate the services they use to how much they pay. This makes it extremely difficult for CIOs to articulate the costs for a specific IT service. The results of the unknown include – tense conversations, side negotiations and meetings with multiple conflicting spreadsheets. Precious time is wasted trying to figure out the past instead of strategically focusing on the future.
This is where ComSci comes in. IT financial management process is the key to building trust and visibility between departments. You can’t manage what you can’t see. An IT Sub Ledger and a Bill of IT breaks down IT costs by service line and enables CIOs and their teams to see exactly what they are paying for, how much of it they used and the price per unit consumed. With ComSci, CIOs quickly gain more actionable data and ensure their costs are aligned with the organization’s profitability objectives. Business and IT are brought into a fully collaborative planning and budgeting process that drives efficiency and promotes innovation.