This week, we’ll look at CIO tweets on key pain points in the transformation of the CIO position and approaches for resolving them.

Vi Bergquist, CIO at St. Cloud College, raised the point of the challenges CIOs face in the shadow IT and BYOD era. The article reads, “Today, IT is no longer master of the universe.” While we can’t deny this phrase, we do have to insist that CIOs can leverage the empowerment of business users for net positive results for their organizations.

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How exactly have CIOs lost control? Tim Crawford, CIO advisor, posted a CIO Journal article on how cloud applications start with pockets of users. As the user base within an organization grows, this puts pressure on the CIO to approve the solution and eventually purchase a corporate license. While this strategy can pose an issue for CIOs who want to avoid silos of collaboration, it can also be a legitimate and effective way for employees to bring user-friendly tools into the enterprise.

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Issues arise when the relationship between IT and business users is antagonistic, wherein the CIO gains a reputation as a CI-“No”. American Cancer Society CIO Jay Ferro points out a key initiative for avoiding this dynamic: transparency.  Employees do not want to create risk for the company on purpose; they just look for tools that allow them to best get their jobs done. As this article explains, IT cannot be a black box removed from communication with users. Transparent policies on risk will help workers understand the reasoning behind IT’s actions and, ultimately, become better security partners.

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cio corner 5Technically it’s cheating to pull a LinkedIn post into a Twitter roundup, but this article from HP Enterprise CIO Ralph Loura was too good to pass up. Loura offers advice for CIOs intimidated by the challenges Vi Bergquist alluded to: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” Working in a user-centric IT department certainly requires a change in attitude and a great deal of flexibility, but the reward lies in the business results and happier users that this strategy can deliver.

How does this tie into security? McAfee CIO Patty Hatter shared an interview on the relationship between the CIO and CSO. To start, we think that creating a dialogue between users and IT on cloud application use cases in a natural segue to the security conversation. Second, security needs to consider business goals, which is why we agree with the headline that “proactive security officers must align with IT and business partners.” The safest security measure may be to encrypt all data, but that strategy would be pointless if users upload the data to an unsanctioned service in order utilize it for work. This interview is a must-read on integrating security with IT operations.

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