Chief Information Officers looking toward the future are noticing an upcoming challenge that they will need to address in order to grow or even maintain their role. Expected to deploy new products in half the time, extract value from an ever increasing pool of information, and accommodate an organization’s ability to scale, the CIO needs to develop a strategy in order to remain relevant.
With pundits touting the digital era, the downfall of the CIO, and disruption from all fronts, it may feel like a tenuous time to be a CIO. However, there is still time to evolve and take ownership of your future role within the organization and your organization’s future within the industry.
Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?
According to an EMC Study, CIOs believe that in the next five years, their organizations will expect new products and services to be launched in half the time it takes to launch them today. Additionally, CIOs believe they will be expected to
- Extract use from rapidly increasing amounts of data,
- Accommodate rapid scaling in an organization
- Adapt to the organization’s future as a service-based company (rather than a product-based one)
- Meet the needs of a real-time business.
This, along with the multitude of articles touting the downfall of the role, have caused a bit of doubt, as over half (57%) of CIOs believe that the IT team is losing its grip on the technology that is held and used across the business.
A CIO’s Guide to Regaining Control
However, in order to remain relevant and in control, you need to take steps in order to prepare yourself and your team for what’s on the horizon. Here are some tips and takeaways you need to know to embrace and control the future of IT.
CIOs at many organizations feel that they are at risk of isolation—whether from other members of the C-suite or from budgets that other departments control. One of the biggest worries, according to the survey, is that the majority of CIOs say that their IT professional work in isolation from each other (65%) and from the rest of the business (63%).
To address this, you need to work to overcome barriers to communication, moving from a traditional IT infrastructure to an integrated environment; turning growing complexity into software-based simplicity and releasing valuable IT expertise to lend value across the business.
Essentially, as the move from organization-wide, on-premises suites to departments choosing the best application for their specific needs sees rapid uptick, CIOs need to be there not as the inhibitor but the moderator—ensuring choices are made without compromising the security of the entire network. See more about communicating your agenda effectively in Data Resilience: Why CEOs and CFOs need to understand the CIO Agenda.
Drive Change and Educate
The study found that the main drivers of digital change are, not surprisingly, IT and business leaders. However, in over half (55%) of companies, digital evolution is driven by marketing and sales and even finance and legal teams.
Knowing this, CIOs need to make the move to gain better understanding of the business side of the organization, as well as learning the future of infrastructure needed to support the digital business today. This needs to be complemented by company-wide education on the role and potential of IT. Change is rarely easy; but managed, technology-supported change that makes everyone’s working lives smoother, will make the journey significantly more comfortable. Learn more in our blog, What CEOs want from the CIO.
Think about ‘Solutions,’ not just ‘Software’
Business leaders are focused on the long-term business goals, and IT needs to position itself as an entity that provides these solutions to a business, not just “the IT Guys” that they call to ensure everything is running smoothly.
77% of CIOs compared to just 49% of CxOs believes that new software-based technologies are vital for becoming a service-based business. Even if this is due to a lack of understanding by the other chief executives the role of the CIO within an organization, it means that the CIO has to be the driver of innovation who can communicate how decisions will impact the future of the business. See how to fend off the insurgency of the CTO here.
Conclusion: It’s Time to Lead
As CIOs fight to maintain or expand their role in the digital future of the business, it all comes down to making the right moves in order to improve the role as business leader, not just IT leader. Brittenford can help you secure your role as a business leader through CIO Advisory Services, helping you to take steps to improve your position while improving your organization.