4 'personas' hospital CIOs must balance to avoid burnout

Are hospital CIOs overworked? Maybe, says Terri Griffith, a professor of management at Santa Clara University in a recent post for the Harvard Business Review Blog Network.

CIOs at many organizations are being stretched "too thin," Griffith says, pointing out that currently, many organizations lack proper support structures and organizational alignment for CIOs already tasked with management of:

  • Internal business systems
  • Cloud-based services
  • Big data innovation
  • Data security
  • Satisfaction of "customers" (patients) via mobile devices

"It's time for a forward-looking but realistic assessment at the expanding role of the CIO, and what it takes to fulfill this successfully," Griffith says.

Citing a 2011 blog post by Constellation Research Group CEO and Principal Analyst Ray Wang, Griffith says that up-and-coming CIOs need to balance "four personas:"

  • Chief "Infrastructure" Officer, in charge of managing existing systems
  • Chief "Integration" Officer, to bring together internal and external data
  • Chief "Intelligence" Officer, in charge of ensuring data gets to the right place at the right time
  • Chief "Innovation" Officer, to drive innovation

"The bottom line is that before we can ask our CIOs to do more for business, we need to evaluate how the organization can provide the support necessary for all four of the CIO personas to function," Griffith says.

Griffith's assertions appear to be supported by a survey of hospital CIOs published by hospitalsystemCIO.com this week, in which nine out of 10 CIOs surveyed admit to checking their email while out of the office and on vacation. "It's difficult to get away, and unfortunately the work piles up," one CIO notes in their response. "So the refreshment from being away quickly turns into a scramble to get back on top of things."

To learn more:
- read the HBR Blog Network post
- check out the healthsystemCIO.com survey

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