It’s a familiar tune. For years, chief information officers (CIOs) have been told to transition from technical adviser to strategic business partner — someone who can help set the direction of the enterprise, drive innovation, and build competitive advantage. It’s still a common refrain. The trouble is, the path to fulfilling that charter, and the challenges to doing so, keep shifting.

What is still true — more than ever — is that the future looks dim for those legacy CIOs who are content to maintain the information technology (IT) estate and make only incremental progress. They may not lose their seat at the table, at least right away, because keeping the IT lights on really does remain critically important. But their ability to influence the business and make a difference in its success will continue to fade. Eventually, their C-suite colleagues will look elsewhere for the technology partners and insights they need to shape the corporate agenda and deliver on its digital transformation goals.

CIOs who successfully lead their organizations through the ever-evolving digital landscape will provide a cohesive vision to move their organization as one. Doing that will involve committing to the following 10 actions. While challenging, they are nonetheless critical to success. We concede that most CIOs are actively moving forward with some of the 10. Still, in our experience, very few are intentionally addressing all 10. And more importantly, in most cases, these 10 are proving to be far more difficult than they may appear on the surface:



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