The news on CIO transformation continues to be very positive.

Gone, it seems, are the days when every morning I'd see headlines on "the death of the CIO," or the "war between the CIO and the CMO." These days - I'm very happy to see that the technology journalism community has caught up with reality.

The CIO is - and has been for some time - a key business leader, the bridge between technology and business strategy, and a key driver for business transformation and growth.

But that transformation - like any major paradigm shift - is not without challenges. And this article "What CIOs need to move up or over" makes a point that I think is very important - and too often overlooked.

Steven Hall, partner, global A&D lead for Information Services Group, makes this extremely pertinent comment about one character trait that can impede CIO transformation.

Perfectionism.

CIO Transformation can be derailed by excessive perfectionism
CIO Transformation can be derailed by excessive perfectionism

Hall is quoted as saying, “In today's fast-paced markets, speed is king. CIOs are too often caught in the perfection trap, trying to makes things perfect before capabilities are released. Compliance, security, slow procurement processes, and the need for detailed requirements all conspire to slow down projects."

That's a very important insight. Because that level of perfection was one of the key requirements of the job until very recently. After all, 99.99 uptime is a heck of an objective. And if it's really required to keep the business going, there's going to be a natural tendency to avoid risk to achieve the extremely high objectives required to keep the business functioning at full speed.

But that's changed, to a significant extent. These days, cloud and other solutions take a good deal of the burden of perfection off the CIO's shoulders, allowing a greater focus on the future - and on driving changing.

That's something that great technology executives have been looking for for a long time. It's a fantastic opportunity to grow as a CIO - and grow into a COO or CEO role.

But, as a good friend of mine used to say, "The perfect can be the enemy of the good enough."

There's very little risk that CIOs will fall down on the job, and get so focused on the future that they ignore the critical requirements of the present. That's not in the character structure of a technology executive.

So being aware of the need for speed - as Steven Hall so clearly states - can be an excellent corrective to ingrained habits of perfectionism that may slow down IT and business transformation.

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