The top of Michelsen's list is immediacy. "Today, a three to five year [technology] plan is meaningless."
Instead, CTOs need to either decide they are going to adopt a particular technology, or make a conscious decision not to do so.
He sees a parallel in the way Android and iOS updates occur without any involvement from the IT department. This has some downsides, such as the time that an iOS update broke Exchange connectivity, but there is little choice but to live with it and find a workaround.
Innovation comes where it comes, and it often comes in the form of a merger or acquisition where the other company could be using systems that are very different to yours, he said.
Finally, dealing with the old and the new is important: CTOs have to find ways of sustaining existing systems at the same time as being innovative.
Disclosure: the writer attended CA World '14 in Las Vegas as a guest of the company.