Want a high-performing IT organization? Have a CIO who plays an active role in business strategy. That’s the big finding from McKinsey & Co.’s latest survey on business technology

Respondents who said their CIOs are very or extremely involved in shaping enterprise-wide strategy report much higher IT effectiveness than their peers who's CIOs are less involved.

Reimagining the CIO Role

“When CIOs play an active role in business strategy, IT performance on a wide range of functional and business tasks improves,” McKinsey reports. This is despite a “downbeat assessment of IT effectiveness,” as confidence in IT’s ability to support business goals is waning and business executives disagree with CIOs about the IT priorities. 

The results suggest that closing the gap to engage more CIOs in strategy discussions could deliver business benefits and address concerns over IT effectiveness. Read McKinsey’s full coverage of their survey findings.

Among their recommendations, McKinsey suggest businesses “reimagine the CIO’s role… to empower and require CIOs and other technology leaders to play a more meaningful role in shaping business strategy." 

Moving Past the Supplier Mindset

McKinsey goes on to say that, "This means shifting away from a CIO with a supplier mindset who provides a cost-effective utility and toward IT leadership that is integrated into discussions of overall business strategy and contributes positively to innovating and building the business. 

"Some ways to encourage such changes include modifying reporting lines (so the CIO reports to the CEO, for example, rather than to leaders of other support functions), establishing clear partnerships between the IT and corporate-strategy functions, and holding both business and IT leaders accountable for big business bets.”

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