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CTOs and CIOs: Transitioning from a Keep-the-Lights-On Environment to One that Invests in Innovation and Disruptive Technologies

When a senior technology executive (CIO, CTO, SVP of IT, Head of Development, etc.) talks to me, it’s because they are interested in making a job change or seeing what’s out there in the job market at the least. The overwhelming factor is the frustration they feel with their current company. After all, their passion is being able to leverage technologies to transform the business, revolutionize the customer experience, and deliver breakthrough capabilities that give the company a distinct competitive advantage. But many companies handcuff their CTOs and stifle innovation because they are not willing to invest or have assumed a completely risk-averse posture when it comes to technology. They’d rather do what everyone else in their field is doing and play catch-up, which reminds me of a story.

What’s Everyone Else Doing?

I have a close friend that is the head of technology for a mid-sized company providing professional services in the financial sector. He is a forward thinker and very strategic in the way he approaches technology acquisition. But he understands how the business leadership thinks, so he’s extremely pragmatic in what he recommends and presents for his technology roadmap. Even so, the rest of the executive team thwarts any attempt to be a leader with innovation. Many years ago, he delivered a detailed strategy to consolidate and virtualize their data center environment and to create a private Cloud for their business applications. No dice! But, three years later, when their buddies who were executives at competing firms talked about their plan to go to a virtual data center and put their applications in the Cloud, it was suddenly a top priority.

You’ve Heard This Story Before

Sound familiar? I thought so.

It’s time to do it right and find an organization that doesn’t just talk innovation but actually puts their money where their mouth is and invests in emerging technologies. Don’t get me wrong, running an IT operation that’s lean and stable is an admirable thing, but is that why you got into this business? To run a cost center with a shrinking budget, zero ability to contribute to the growth of the organization, and the scapegoat for most of the problems in the company?

You’ve come too far and have too much yet to give to simply sit back and just make sure that you keep the lights on in IT. There are plenty of aggressive up-and-comers at the next level down who are willing to take on these types of roles until they’ve arrived and been-there-done-that long enough to realize they’re not doing what they love either.

Protect Your Legacy

To protect what you’ve built in your career so far and to continue to fuel your passion until you retire, you deserve to discover the opportunities that are available. Despite what it seems, there are companies out there that are market leaders and willing to invest in the development or early adoption of disruptive technologies. It takes a focused effort to identify them, engage them, and present a brand image that is appealing to them.

Build Your Support Team

To be successful in this endeavor, enlisting a team of experts to collaborate with you and support you is a great approach. This includes building your brand message and articulating it effectively in your Executive Resume, LinkedIn Profile, Executive Bio, and other materials. But it’s more than that. These market leaders are going to be highly selective, so developing viable channels or inroads into these companies is vital.

 

Stephen Van Vreede

About Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical resume writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and innovation leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at Stephen@ittechexec.com or send him an invite at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenvanvreede. To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

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