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This is part 3 of a 4-part series on advice for new CIOs

CIO-to-CIO advice: Overcoming challenges

As a new CIO, it is critical that you understand the culture of the IT organization and how to effectively influence change. In order to overcome difficulties and carry out long-term strategies, you must establish your own credibility and provide IT leadership that impacts real, positive change in the organization.


  • The best leaders don’t change the entire organization before they truly understand it.
  • Be patient. Take time to observe first hand how the business operates.
  • Gain a point of reference by which to discuss problems and strategies in a relevant way and implement more effective solutions.


  • Outdated and misaligned IT strategies can cause inefficiency and unhappiness in the organization.
  • Look for deficiencies in security, vendor management, and business alignment.
  • Regularly assess the progress and success of projects to revise strategies and set a better course for the organization.

Improve service performance

  • Delivering secure, effective services is at the core of IT’s mission, but many CIOs face underperforming infrastructure and suppliers.
  • Review the service -delivery model and assess supplier constraints.
  • Initiate a routine process of developing service-improvement plans tied to personal objectives and SLAs.

Balance demands

  • Maintaining the day-to-day operations of the business while meeting increasing demands for new applications and services can be difficult.
  • Use what you have learned from talking to people within the company to better understand the business’s needs.
  • Create an executive governance committee composed of IT and business leadership to mutually prioritize these demands and ensure that efforts are being best allocated to meet the needs created by shifts in business and peak periods.

Fill talent deficiencies

  • In your first months as CIO, you will find areas where your organization lacks the necessary skills or leadership to maximize productivity, creativity, and efficiency.
  • Establish key consultancy partnerships for guidance and to help fill temporary gaps in the resource plan while seeking long-term talent.

Whether you’re brand new to your IT leadership position or an experienced CIO, Wavestone US can help you navigate the new challenges facing IT executives today. For an initial consultation, visit https://www.wavestone.us/contact/.

    Wavestone US

    Our team is a blend of former C-suite executives and industry leaders, and high-quality talent at all levels who can tackle your most complex issues with a fresh approach. With a globally connected network of 3,000 employees, Wavestone US is designed to help you get results. All our consultants thrive on complex challenges, enjoy blazing new trails, and are committed to your organization’s success.

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