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CIO: Think business first when facing technological disruption

Today's organizations face near-constant technological disruption that can either empower or derail a CIO's IT strategy. Before deciding how to respond to new disruptions, CIOs should first consider the business impact, Wendy Cofran, CIO at Century Health Systems, told SearchCIO at the recent CDM Media CIO Summit in Boston. In this video, Cofran warns CIOs to tread carefully in the face of technological disruption and think twice before jumping into a new technology. She also explains why disruption in the form of big data sharing is one of the healthcare industry's biggest challenges.

How do CIOs ensure that they're investing in the right technology to drive their business forward?

Wendy Cofran: In today's market space, it's important for a CIO to have a strong understanding of the business; how people work within the business and how consumers utilize the business. It's no longer about IT. New IT and new ideas are cropping up everywhere, and I think it is important for the CIO to have a really firm understanding of the business, how technology works within the business and how it affects everybody that's using it. Until you have that core understanding, I don't really think that you can be effective in this day and age. You have to know when to implement new technology or when to test it, or when to stay with some of the tried and true investments that you've made in technology and enhance those rather than jumping into something new. There are a lot of disruptors out there, and I think it's something that you have to pay attention to. Some technological disruption is really good. I'm in the healthcare space, so it's good to see some of the disruption that's going on. But again, you have to make sure it doesn't disrupt your business as well.

What are some of the disruptions you're seeing?

There are a lot of disruptors out there, and I think it's something that you have to pay attention to.

Cofran: We're an industry that was primed for disruption. I think right now it's about data sharing. Who's got the data? Where does it need to go? And are we putting it in the hands of people that really need it? We need to start doing a better job of putting the data into the hands of professionals, providers, as well as the patients and their families that are making these decisions. And I think the fact that we still struggle in the healthcare industry to move data throughout it is a core challenge for us.

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