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In comparison to other corporate functions (sales, marketing, finance, operations or HR), the IT function is very young and still maturing. When one considers these other functional areas, there is a well-understood way of thinking about near-term performance and long-term planning. Executive teams know how to operate within that functional “framework” and each leader is able to weigh in and appropriately contribute in a cross-functional discussion.

The same level of understanding and familiarity is rare in IT. The lack of framework and common language results in the IT portion of critical management discussions quickly becoming disjointed, functionally siloed, and detached from the broader business strategy. The resulting “IT Plan” typically becomes a list of functional priorities and projects, rather than an integrated, strategy-enablement blueprint that has alignment across the executive team.

Over the last five decades, IT has moved from being a back-office function to a driver of change and growth. Now, IT is truly embedded in everything, everywhere, all of the time. This makes the role of IT critically important, yet at the same time even more difficult as it will require advice, support, and a framework for bridging the business-IT dialogue gap. CIOs need help to develop their strategies, approaches, and ability to sell and communicate throughout the C-suite and boardroom.

This requires investing in leadership development for the best and brightest next-generation leaders. The span of competencies necessary to lead in this next era are breathtaking:

• Understand how the business marketplace will interact with new and emerging technologies
• Translate that into an understanding of opportunities and threats for the business
• Articulate and “sell” the compelling reasons to adopt or bypass certain technologies
• Architect and implement solutions aligned with long-term business strategies
• Provide thought leadership on reducing legacy complexity and cost
• Build and maintain a high-performing IT organization

The Technology Leadership Development (TLD) program delivers an accelerated learning path, empowering next-generation IT leaders with a proven framework and the essential skills to position their company for long-term competitiveness and sustainable growth.