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The Top 10 Priorities for CIOs in 2013

As we approach the new year, I share 10 of my all-time favorite quotes paired with some questions to spark your thinking about CIO priorities for 2013.

10. "The medium is the message." Philosopher Marshall McLuhan's phrase still resonates in our four-screen world of TV, desktop, tablet and smartphone. How can you optimize the user medium to enhance the business message?

9. "All software is going to look like Facebook." Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff's remark predicts a world in which software is self-explanatory. How does that change the CIO role?

8. "Accumulating data about you isn't just a strange hobby for these corporations. It's their whole business model. And you are not their client. You are their product." Senator Al Franken's observation about the big business of big data could mean big opportunities for our industry. What are the ramifications for your business?

7. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci's saying reminds us that the era of IT complexity must end. What legacy systems will you retire this year?

6. "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Aristotle wasn't thinking of cloud or mobile devices here, but his aphorism still applies to technology. How will you integrate these tools to create new business opportunities?

5. "It's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing." Steve Jobs reminded us how much design matters. Where can CIOs put good design to work?

4. "Resistance to change is often just a lack of clarity." Business author Dan Heath nailed it. Where can you clarify the mission for your IT troops?

3. "Never mistake activity for achievement." Basketball coach John Wooden made a great point: Are you working hard without delivering business value?

2. "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn." Futurist Alvin Toffler saw the value of lifelong learning. What will you relearn this year?

1. "You better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'." Bob Dylan probably doesn't know many CIOs, but we do. Is there any C-level exec more adept at change? (Keep up the great work!)

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