IT leadership is changing nearly as rapidly as technology itself. The ready availability of hardware and software is moving responsibility for acquisition and management away from Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and on to managers in other parts of the organisation. The roles of CIOs and other IT leaders are increasingly focused on enterprise-wide technology strategy and decision making.
Here are some of the key trends highlighting the changing role of CIOs in today’s organisations:
- Building high-performing teams
According to Deloitte’s 2018 Global CIO Survey, most CIOs said that efficient team building was central in helping them succeed in their careers. Senior leaders therefore need to develop a deep network of talent to call upon, depending on how their business needs evolve, as well as equipping employees with the technologies to power greater collaboration and transparency and drive company-wide digital transformation.
- Bringing in outside perspectives
CIOs need to open themselves up to new ways of thinking to keep up with the rate of change, turning to those that can accomplish things they themselves may not have the in-house expertise to do. This will see IT leaders bringing in experts from other areas who are committed to delivering game-changing technologies, as well as seeking non-traditional hires to ensure diversity of thinking and experience within the organisation itself.
- Delivering major organisational change
Today’s enterprises look to IT to enable and drive transformational change. CIOs are expected to bring new technology approaches to address their company’s strategic challenges and goals. Being able to evolve technology streams to meet new revenue-generating business requests quickly and efficiently is therefore vital.
- Leading efforts to leverage the tech services and capabilities available
Deloitte’s CIO report found that tech leaders are also committed to ongoing learning – a trend that’s expected to continue over the next several years. While nearly all surveyed CIOs (96%) consider educating the business about technology issues to be one of their responsibilities, only 66% have developed proactive initiatives to help build tech fluency across the organisation. In the current environment, the business is leading the conversation, asking to deploy machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation without necessarily understanding the power and limitations of technology. This will change to see CIOs leveraging the services and capabilities available.
- Grounding technology in customer value
A key shift in the successful CIO’s mindset will be to ground everything in customer value. While this can be difficult to execute, it is a key differentiator in a competitive market. Focusing on attitudes, behaviours and skills while keeping the customer in mind will help executive leadership to sign off on new technologies. This way small, incremental improvements can be made, which have a big impact on end-user reception.
- Translating IT’s value to the C-suite
IT will complete its transformation from a cost centre into a profit generator. While IT’s historic reputation for slow processes has obscured its role in the digital transformation era, empowered CIOs will serve as brand ambassadors, showing executive leaders the positive impact that IT can have on meeting business outcomes. As the C-suite contemplate acquisition targets, a successful CIO will manoeuvre technology to ensure the organisation can capitalise on these opportunities.
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