The CIOs who created the IT Value Matrix wanted it to be timeless. “We needed a way to discuss what we do in terms that would never change,” says Kevin Humphries, FedEx’s senior VP of technology services.

The leadership principles that accompany the matrix form the strategic foundation to which all matrix components are tied. The principles were articulated with input from a panel of industry veterans, including retired CIOs Patricia Wallington and Darwin John.

The principles are as follows:

1} The primary goal of IT is to align with major enterprise objectives. Every initiative must be clearly tied in a provable way to business value.

2} Because all major business initiatives are dependent upon technology, the CIO must have a voice at the table at which key business decisions are made.

3}The CIO is responsible for understanding a business’s complexities, influencing peers and presenting technology strategy in terms the business can understand.

4} Technology leaders are agents of change. Transition is our stable state.

5} Communication and relationship building are as important to IT leadership as technology skills are.

6} Successful technology leadership must strike a balance between competing forces: short-term versus long-term, technology versus business focus, leading versus enabling.

7} The CIO is responsible for cultivating technology leadership at all levels.