For Andres Carvallo, overhauling IT is as much about improving communication as it is about revamping technology. Three years ago, when Carvallo stepped in as CIO of Austin, Texas-based Austin Energy, he started a four-year, $50-million IT project. One part of his sweeping reform was to improve the IT department's communication strategy in order to spread the word about internal changes. Carvallo recommends several steps to ensure that CIOs are heard:
- Demonstrate leadership. Help your business-side peers achieve their goals.
- Talk the talk. Speak the language of the business.
- Focus on solving problems. Talk about solutions, not technology, when discussing business.
- Anticipate needs. Stay ahead of the business by researching new solutions.
- Sell your vision. Be evangelical and repetitive when promoting your IT plans.
- Celebrate your successes. Recognize IT department members' achievements, and seek industry recognition by applying for awards.