March 23, 2017
Technology Solution Delivery ,
Information Insight

Does your Chief Information Officer have 100 years of Experience?

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American intellect and poet in the mid-19th century, offers this compelling view on life that can be directly transposed to “work experience.” Experience is one of the cornerstones of success in business because it focuses on the means and the journey as opposed to the result or outcome. It is the reason why an “Experience Interview” is a part of our recruitment process at Kenway Consulting. It is also the reason why we all have resumes that document our past positions, responsibilities and relevant projects. Past experiences can be a predictor of future success.

My favorite story involving a unique experience is from Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers, which highlights the story of Bill Gates. Mr. Gates, the founder of Microsoft, found success not because he is a genius (although he is certainly smart), but rather because he attended a private school that granted him unprecedented access to computers that did not require painstakingly slow punch-cards. Through this privilege, Mr. Gates refined his coding craft with thousands of hours of practice to build his programming proficiency. When the first “build-it-yourself” computer kit (i.e. Altair 8080) was introduced in 1975, Mr. Gates had enough programming experience and expertise to be successful in the developing personal computing market.

The programming capability that Mr. Gates had collected was unique, and it begs the question of how IT leadership can be better equipped with unique experiences for a competitive advantage.

When thinking about your leadership for your IT organization, does your Chief Information Officer (CIO) have 100 years of experience?

For the record, I am not recommending that you consider age when thinking of the CIO. Rather, I am challenging everyone to think about the CIO role as a service rather than as a person. When you consider CIO as a service, you can leverage a multitude of highly skilled resources and pool their collective experiences and strengths. For example, top CIO priorities for 2017 may include things such as Digital Strategy, Cloud Migration, Mobile Strategy, Big Data, Cybersecurity, and Enterprise Transformation. It is uncommon to find a single person to fulfill the CIO role that has expert level proficiency in each of these areas. But you can certainly find several experts in each of those areas.

At Kenway Consulting, we have successfully provided CIO as a service (or in the cases of small companies without a full-time need, a Fractional CIO service) to organizations by way of our service model: by providing the right skills at the right time, in the right volume, for the right duration. Our service model allows our clients the ability to access expertise in IT Strategy, IT Capital/Expense Planning, IT Asset Management, Enterprise Architecture, and Cloud Architecture (among others) to meet their objectives and ultimately align their IT organization with their business strategy. This means our clients have a CIO (as a service) with hundreds of years of collective experience!

This service model maximizes the value of IT by enabling agility, expertise, and a consumption-based cost structure. Now is the time to re-think your IT organization and assess the opportunity to utilize a Fractional CIO service to fill an existing void or to augment your current team. I am happy that Kenway Consulting can help our clients by providing this service to offer our unique blend of services and IT experiences. If you are interested in learning more about Kenway and our approach to our Fractional CIO service, email us at

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