Top CIOs are 'chief integration officers'

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One key skill that truly great CIOs have learned is how to successfully navigate and integrate organizational differences to keep key stakeholders in agreement and heading in the same direction. In other words, they become chief integration officers. It's a skill that can turn disorganized IT organizations into strategic weapons.

When IT functions began decades ago, they were somewhat self-contained and isolated. Today, the reverse is true. Now everyone needs IT, including customers, partners, suppliers, internal corporate functions and field operations.

Yet only the best CIOs have so far successfully led the charge for organizational integration. When CIOs let someone else lead this integration, it often spells disaster for them and their departments because it perpetuates the perception that business-IT alignment remains a problem.

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