IT Guy To ‘IT’ Guy: The New CIO is an Enterprise Leader

IT Guy To ‘IT’ Guy: The New CIO is an Enterprise Leader

IT Guy To ‘IT’ Guy: The New CIO is an Enterprise Leader

Far from tasked with just keeping the lights on, don’t we all call IT for literally everything! I consider myself quite tech-savvy, but it takes a minute for me to call the IT department in complete panic if I can’t connect a call on my laptop, or I can’t upload a heavy file, or I’m wasting time reading casual nihilism quotes (on my personal laptop) and my screen hangs. Thanks to the Cloud-based software that our organisation uses and our fabulous IT department, all I have to do is provide remote access to them, problem solved. Sometimes, they’ll even recommend the apt speech-to-text transcribing software or a design app—point is, they’re so aware of what I do as a writer and what I can do to improve my craft.

Knowing the workings of all departments, quick problem-solving, cost-saving, and time-saving tech recommendations are all attributes that demonstrate the influence, authority, and impact IT has on businesses.

A pic depicts to call IT Team

DX and Beyond

Organisations are speeding towards modernising their operations, and it is evident that the role of the Chief Information Officer is no longer limited to spearheading digital transformation, but also enabling strategic business development. Inherent challenges—from optimising internal processes to ensuring seamless customer service and saving operational costs—have always been on the CIO’s agenda.

However, with the pandemic accelerating the adoption of digital transformation—“Across regions, the results (McKinsey survey) suggest a seven-year increase, on average, in the rate at which companies are developing these products and services (digital). Once again, the leap is even greater, ten years in developed Asia,”—matching these expeditious technological innovations and bringing the business up to speed, are bold aspirations and can seem quite daunting to the say the least.

DX Leap

What’s on the CIO’s Mind?

Business goals can’t be met without technology, consequently putting the CIO in the spotlight. Today, ‘With great power comes great responsibility,’ compelling CIOs to reconsider their priorities. In late 2006, Sam Palmisano, IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, told over 100 CIOs from around the world, “This is your moment—one of those moments that doesn’t come along very often—when you have an opportunity to enhance your standing, influence and contribute to the enterprise.”

Top 10 Questions CIO are asking

Be An ‘Agent of Change’

The answer to all the questions requires a shift within the deep-rooted culture of an organisation. Today, CIOs need to be ‘agents of change’ and initiate conversations about the structure and role of employees that should be enhanced to instill an ethos of collaboration and shared responsibility. One way to achieve this is through strengthening and making internal processes agile and transparent so departments no longer work in silos. InspireXT provides comprehensive expertise to empower CIOs in this respect.

InspireXT Services

Get On Board!

CIOs need to expand their KPIs and scale digital initiatives that have a direct impact on business outcomes and ROI, at the same time, C-Suite executives need to have an open mind and support CIOs to create a solid foundation of trust. Traditionally, CIOs were often left out of the Boardroom, but now more and more organisations understand their prominence, especially when creating business strategy, making technology investments, and discussing customer issues in detail. CIOs are now top-table of the product value chain, working in collaboration with the C-Suite to strengthen business-IT relationships and partake in important decision-making.

Gartner Stats on CIO

Accelerate Digital Dexterity

CIOs must pursue innovation and proactively configure operations to meet business demands. From Cloud and AI to ML and robotics, integrating recent technology in existing processes that seem to be functioning fine without it, is a hard sell. CIOs need to convince the C-Suite to look at the big prize—new sources of business and revenue, better customer service, and faster turn-around time that Hybrid Cloud technologies enable. More importantly, CIOs can help increase digital competencies amongst employees and board members via upskilling on a regular basis to make their work lives better and elevate productivity.

Stats on Advanced Capability

Make Security A Pan-Organisation Priority

And not just an IT issue. While remote working, high degree of automation, Cloud connectivity, and Big Data are aiding businesses requirements in the ‘New Normal’, the pressure on IT to oversee cyber security and data compliance is mounting. Technology has permeated all facets of an organisational structure, increasing the risk of cybercrimes and hacks that can cause severe financial damage. Once again, CIOs must ensure that all parties are well-educated and adhere to security policies on an individual basis. Implementing the ‘Zero-Trust Architecture’ which implies a “never trust, always verify” approach where devices should not be trusted by default even if they have been previously verified.

ZTNA stats

Stakeholder Friction

According to Researchgate Stakeholder Friction or “Stakeholder Management is the belief that firms create value when they invest more time, money, and attention to stakeholders than is necessary for the immediate transaction.” Traditionally, it was business heads of Finance, Legal, Sales, and Marketing that interacted with external partners, vendors, suppliers, and customers. Now, CIOs are equally invested in the communication and exchange of technology updates and industry insights to cement relationships with these external resources and vice-versa.

To conclude, as Shakespeare said, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one,” the modern Chief Information Officer is truly an enterprise leader, a visionary who holds the key to creating a culture of transparency, collaboration, and innovation and transform the way we work today.

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