Key Attributes of a CIO Part 2 - Lessons Learned from Central Ohio IT Leaders.org

Steve Gruetter
Published

Launched in 2017, Central Ohio IT Leaders.org is a peer group that meets monthly to network, discuss ideas, learn from experienced speakers, and establish collaborative relationships with the goal of nurturing the next generation of Columbus IT leadership. Several times throughout the year, the peer group will host CIO guest speakers to discuss various aspects of IT leadership. The following lesson learned is based off of my interpretation of a recent presentation by Angelo Mazzocco, CIO of Central Ohio Primary Care (COPC).

There are five key attributes of the CIO role. One attribute is to create a vendor management program that engages your strategic partners as your share your vision and technology roadmap.  The vendors can teach about the latest changes and upgrades in technology as well as offer new solutions that your team may not be aware of. Please note, the idea to share your roadmap is not for all vendors, just the ones that your company relies on to operate. The goal is to allow your firm to move faster with key partners by gaining operational or financial efficiencies and improving the level and quality of service received. Of the five key attributes we have discussed during the IT Leaders.org program, this has been the most controversial. 

During our initial cohort, several members of the breakout session discussing this presentation stated that their respective firms would never share a strategic plan with vendors, as their organization’s culture is to treat vendors with a combative posture, as opposed to working together for a common goal. On the other hand, our most recent cohort was in a similar breakout session last week and was in alignment with the concept of engagement of strategic vendors. This brings me to an interesting concept in relation to a common purchasing tool, the Request for Proposal (RFP). Most RFPs assume that the issuing firm has done thorough research on all the possibilities of a given solution, decided on the path that is best for the organization and then distributed the request to the most qualified vendors. 

Far too many times, I have seen situations where solid questions on the problems the requester is looking to solve have not been addressed properly in the RFP question sets. In addition, I have frequently seen situations in which the requester is not aware of the most current technology available to solve the problems, leading to a broken purchasing process. In next week’s post, I will share another key attribute of the CIO role that was discussed at Central Ohio IT Leaders.org.

If you’re interested in discussing the IT Leaders program, digital transformation, cloud technology or how to get involved with Central Ohio’s IT community, please reach out to me at steve.gruetter@expedient.com.

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