Interview at MIT with Peter Nichol: How One CIO Gets People Curious About Digital Projects

At MIT interviewing Peter Nichol by SearchCIO: The CIO role in digital projects hinges on understanding business models.


Part of what we’re doing today is educating the rest of the organization. It’s not really IT; I’m a technologist, but I consider myself a business executive first, and if we can apply technology, we will. If we can remove it, we will also remove it because it will be faster. 

There’s always a balance between academic knowledge and how you practice it as a practitioner. You have to understand your business first to be able to get any type of engagement. If you don’t understand the business, regardless of your technical background, not too many people are going to listen. But if you understand that business model and understand the key challenges, now you have an opportunity to potentially offer solutions and get people curious about potential options, and if you can do that well, now you have a stake at the table, and now maybe you can lead some digital initiatives. It’s that balance between digital capabilities and digital leadership, and you kind of get that involvement that ultimately helps transformation occur.


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SearchCIO. (2015c). CIO role in digital projects hinges on understanding business models. Retrieved June 30, 2015, from