The presence of the chief information officer (CIO) in the C-suite is common, but historically this role has been segmented off, tasked with keeping the lights on and keeping IT budgets in check. The changing role of technology within the overall business strategy due to disruptive digital transformation demands a different contribution from the CIO.
Technology is no longer simply an avenue for getting invoices printed or reconciling inventory; the advent of cloud solutions and Big Data means that technology no longer simply supports business processes but instead shapes them. This means the CIO has a broader influence in the shaping of company strategy and must be equipped to participate in the direction of the enterprise.
Business first: One of the practical ways this shift affects the CIO is the lens through which they view the trajectory of company growth and the strategies to get there. While they may previously have offered the technological perspective on the board’s business decision, they are now required to present the vision of what the business could be with the right tools.
It’s a mistake for a CIO to sit back during a board meeting, allowing others to contribute to the discussion while they wait for the IT budget report to hit the agenda. Instead, the CIO’s role is to demystify the impact of digital progress and demonstrate how the company is improved through solutions like managed services, for example.
The rise of the chief digital officer (CDO): The CIO may be working alongside a CDO, tasked with focusing on product management and equipping the products and services sold with digital tools, while the CIO is more aligned with internal productivity. It’s expected that these roles may eventually merge into a single oversight position, but it’s a good idea for CIOs to be aware of the contribution that a CDO makes and avoid becoming siloed in the organization.
Encouraging mindset change: A CIO can distinguish themselves as a leader in the organization by establishing their role as a visionary for how technology will drive business goals. Instead of IT simply solving particular problems, it’s now the natural answer to each progression in the business plan. It’s important for the CIO’s voice to be heard and for them to take a lead role in securing buy-in for new strategies and demonstrating their influence in successful business decisions.
To learn more about the increasing impact that the CIO can have in an enterprise’s overall direction, contact us at eXemplify. We help you equip your clients for their current role as CIO, as well as the direction their position could take in the future.