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A CTO's resolutions: IT project prioritization, be an influencer

SearchCIO columnist Niel Nickolaisen offers up his IT resolutions by video this year. On his to-do list: Come up with a more effective IT project prioritization framework; be an influencer in his company, not just in the IT organization; and take a chance on new technology. For an in-depth treatment of these themes, check out Nickolaisen's column, "IT lessons from 2016 pave way for 2017 resolutions."

It's the end of 2016, and it's time for all of us to make our New Year's resolutions. I have three resolutions I am going to make.

Resolution No. 1: Do IT project prioritization in waves

We've got a massive portfolio of projects, and in order to support some of those projects, sometimes, we spread ourselves across all of them. Wouldn't it be better if we focused on the relatively few that are the most important not just to get done, but to get done first?

I feel overwhelmed with all of the work we have to do. So, one of the things I've tried to do for myself personally -- and also my team -- for the list of projects in my portfolio is to find what is truly essential. To find what are the most import things not just to get done, but to get done before anything else.

We've got a massive portfolio of projects, and in order to support some of those projects, sometimes, we spread ourselves across all of them. Wouldn't it be better if we focused on the relatively few that are the most important not just to get done, but to get done first?

So, my first resolution is to focus on what is truly essential, and get those few things done first. Then, we'll work on the next essential things and, eventually, we will get through the whole portfolio by doing it in a more focused way and less-spread-out way.

Resolution No. 2: Be an influencer

The second thing I need to do as a leader in IT is become more influential. The driver for that -- now that we are in the age of digital transformation -- is that I need to lead my entire organization, not just my IT team, into the future. In order to do that, I need to exert influence across the organization. So, what can I do to be influential in how the company operates and not just how IT operates? [I can start by spending] more time understanding the drivers of the business and spending time building a lot more trust with my executive team peers. I think those are the important things that I need to do.

Resolution No. 3: Take a chance on new technology

Finally, I want to take a flier on some new technology that is so far on the bleeding edge that no one else is talking about it. For me, that's blockchain. I'm not sure if there is anything about blockchain that will actually benefit my company, but I want to find out about it and do an experiment. I want to take a flyer on something that very few others are even thinking out.

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