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My First 100 Days as a CIO: What Would I Change?

A picture of Richard Keenlyside - My First 100 Days as a CIO


In today's fast-paced business environment, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role has become increasingly crucial. As a CIO, your first 100 days in the position can set the tone for your tenure. I explore my valuable insights and recommendations in my article, written for a recent publication, North East Business Magazine (Business Life). This was a recent position for me working for an established North East food manufacturer.

I hope my expertise will guide you through the key areas that require attention and the changes that can drive success during this critical period.

1. How should a CIO approach their first 100 days?

To make a significant impact, a CIO should prioritise understanding the organisation's goals, culture, and challenges. Richard Keenlyside emphasises the importance of building relationships with key stakeholders, including the executive team, department heads, and IT staff. By establishing open lines of communication and gaining a holistic view of the organisation, a CIO can identify areas for improvement and develop a strategic plan.

2. What key areas should a CIO focus on during their first 100 days?

Richard Keenlyside advises CIOs to concentrate on three key areas: aligning IT with business objectives, optimising IT infrastructure, and fostering innovation. A CIO can ensure that technology initiatives contribute directly to the organisation's success by aligning IT goals with the overall business strategy. Optimising the IT infrastructure and fostering innovation can also drive efficiency, agility, and competitiveness.

3. How can a CIO drive digital transformation during their first 100 days?

Digital transformation is critical to a CIO's role in today's digital age. Richard Keenlyside suggests that CIOs should assess the organisation's current digital maturity level and identify opportunities for improvement. This involves evaluating existing technologies, identifying gaps, and formulating a roadmap for digital transformation. By leveraging emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, a CIO can drive innovation and enhance operational efficiency.

4. What challenges might a CIO face during their first 100 days?

Richard Keenlyside acknowledges that every CIO faces unique challenges during their first 100 days. These challenges may include resistance to change, legacy systems, budget constraints, and competing priorities. To overcome these obstacles, Keenlyside advises CIOs to focus on effective communication, building trust, and prioritising initiatives that deliver quick wins. A CIO can gain support and drive positive change by demonstrating the value of IT initiatives.

5. How can a CIO measure success during their first 100 days?

Measuring success as a CIO requires setting clear goals and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). Richard Keenlyside suggests that CIOs should establish metrics aligned with the organisation's objectives, such as improved operational efficiency, increased customer satisfaction, or reduced IT costs. Regularly reviewing and communicating progress against these KPIs allows a CIO to demonstrate the value of their initiatives and make data-driven decisions.

6. Building a team, building the right team?

Assembling a cohesive team necessitates more than simply beginning with a blank slate. On the contrary, it entails assessing the current team and implementing necessary adjustments to optimise performance and align with the desired trajectory. Additionally, comprehensive training is imperative, with the utilisation of recruitment agencies that have proven supportive throughout your professional journey and those in whom you place trust. It however remains disheartening that certain recruiters still fail to acknowledge or address correspondence, thereby undermining their credibility in presenting potential candidates to your team, another blog for another day.


In conclusion, Richard Keenlyside's insights provide valuable guidance for CIOs embarking on their first 100 days in this critical role. By focusing on aligning IT with business objectives, optimising IT infrastructure, fostering innovation, driving digital transformation, and effectively measuring success, CIOs can set a strong foundation for their tenure. Embracing these recommendations will enable CIOs to navigate the challenges and drive positive change within their organisations.

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