CIOs must broaden skillsets to keep up

CIOs are having to increase their skillset as the role of the CIO becomes wider and more complex in the modern IT setting

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CIOs must broaden skillsets to keep up Mary Mesaglio from Gartner says that modern CIOs need to have the ability to do A-B testing, rapid prototyping and high velocity, low cost experimentation.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  January 1, 1970

CIOs are having to increase their skillset as the role of the CIO becomes wider and more complex in the modern IT setting, according to Mary Mesaglio, research vice president with Gartner’s CIO and Executive Leadership research team.

According to Mesaglio, the first skill needed by the modern CIO is the ability to allow and encourage rapid prototyping.

“If you are a business user, you come to me with an idea as the CEO or head of application development and have an emergent concept you as the CIO should be able to do rapid prototyping and have something back in 48 hours,” said Mesaglio.

The second skill is to have the capacity to do A-B testing, Google does a lot of this, but it has always been really hard to do in the physical world.

But in the digital world, CIOs and IT managers and leaders are not doing enough A-B testing according to Mesaglio. The actual extra cost of doing a digital version and testing is really not that great.

“If you are trying to improve the user experience you can do version A,B and C and, you can, through IP address management, see which people like best and there is a direct feedback that most IT departments are not taking best advantage of,” she said

The third skill is the ability to conduct high velocity low cost experimentation. If the action is happening where the enterprise meets the outside world at the interface, then there is a massive amount of information that the enterprise does not know about how customers are going to react and interact in the digital sphere.

“High velocity low cost experimentation says what I would be asking a CIO is ‘Could your team design an experiment for Monday, Launch on Tuesday, get the data on Wednesday, tweak it on Thursday and relaunch on Friday. If you can not do that kind of speed then that would be the goal to work up to. The biggest thing that IT needs to get more of is increase its speed,” said Mesaglio.

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