CIOs need to partner with their peers to set KPIs, in particular work with the CFO, COO, and CMO. For B2B, if there is one person here to partner with, it's the CFO. For B2C, it's likely the CMO. Obviously this isn't a hard and fast rule. Examples of great KPIs include 'time to execute a revenue-focused project', 'cutting X days from core processes'.
E.g. working with the CMO to segment the internal email database better for improved targeting and launching a successful campaign to meet revenue goals. Or working with the CFO to cut down how long it takes to close books at the end of the quarter through better / improved data collection.
Another important thing to do is to meet with the CEO, understand in detail where the business is going in the next 3 years and within that framework, the CIO should lead how technology plays a role and set KPIs around that.
Lastly, reporting on 999 uptime and ticket volume relegates IT to the basement. For very specific industries / companies it may be fine, but overall CIOs have to move away from this.
CIOs need to understand that the board’s role has evolved in recent years. They are no longer the “hirers and firers” they once used to be. Today, these boards have shifted their focus to risk and security, and therefore end up working closely with CIOs.
As these relationships deepen, it’s vital that CIOs avoid IT jargon and translate thoughts into business speak. The focus now always needs to be risk mitigation.
Examples of key discussion topics can include:
Having been on several boards, I know how frustrating it is when CIOs chose to talk about accomplishments over risk mitigation. The board walks out of the meeting having had little value added by the CIO. To be honest, that’s not a good place to be!