Project Management

CIO Success Guide: Surviving More Turbulent Times

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Just when we thought it was clear sailing ahead…wham! Inflation and recession gave a gut punch to businesses on a global scale that many say will last through 2023. CIOs are faced with familiar challenges as budget cuts and staff reductions loom large.

In addition, CIOs are trying to find a sustainable balance between where their people work—on premises, remotely or a combination of both. Every approach has its advantages and disadvantages. Many IT workers are determined to keep working from home even if it means new employment. Others can’t wait to be back at the job with their teammates. To complicate things, CIOs face talent shortages that they may not be able to fill.

Staffing issues also persist as cost controls, capital spending cutbacks and more complicate the path forward for 2023. Last year, my “CIO Success Guide” focused on the following areas:

  • Prepare for growth, status quo and cutbacks. This means having three roadmaps, one for each scenario. Factor in the key indicators that will provide advance warnings as possible.
  • Understand the impact of how external factors will impact the organization’s ability to pursue and achieve its objectives.
  • Structure IT to be as scalable and nimble as possible. Be sure to keep contractual commitments as short term as possible to hedge against being locked into spending the …

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- John Lennon