CIOs are well-positioned to drive dramatic, positive change in their organizations in 2017. They are both involved in and aware of the organizational strategy and they are close enough to the work flow to see potential obstacles to progress. They understand current business objectives while at the same time keeping an eye on coming innovations. Yet change management brings with it significant challenges, including a strong emphasis on the human side of business transformation. CIOs need a sophisticated set of leadership and communication skills to help people anticipate, understand and adopt business transformations.
Here are just 6 ways the role of CIOs is shifting in 2017:
Encouraging the adoption of new systems. Technology doesn’t just support businesses — it drives innovation. From cloud computing to big data, technology trends are stimulating fundamental changes in the way we do business. The successful implementation of a particular technology is at the heart of many change initiatives.
Managing stakeholder engagement and support. From product development to sales to customer service, technology underlies and facilitates nearly every part of business. CIOs are responsible for creating and maintaining the architecture across the organization in support of revenue goals. CIOs need to be exceptional communicators to balance stakeholder needs and win the cooperation and support of centralized systems.
Establishing and maintaining strategic and operational governance. CIOs help organizations navigate the increasingly complex worldwide regulatory landscape. Responsible for creating a culture of enterprise risk management, CIOs play a crucial role in protecting organizations globally against loss of business and capital from data breaches.
Driving innovation in support of business strategy. Executives who focus merely on improving business processes only offer incremental growth potential. Luckily, CIOs continually monitor developing technologies and drive innovation internally. They are not only familiar with design thinking, analytical and critical thinking, and ideation, they also have a unique, data-driven pulse on what customers want. IT often has responsibility for websites, user experience, call centers, customer surveys and other ways to measure customer demand. CIOs are therefore a critical link between internal systems and a stellar customer experience.
Maintaining and mining critical business data. According to McKinsey, using big data and analytics in business decisions can improve profit margins by up to 60 percent. Employees savvy about digital technologies and how to analyze data offer a competitive advantage to organizations. CIOs know how to use information as a strategic asset, helping leaders both access and interpret critical data in real time.
Managing and supporting employee-centric technology. The employee experience — both in their daily work and how they experience the brand themselves — directly affects engagement levels and, ultimately, productivity. CIOs are now playing a crucial role in developing the employee experience, the core of the Employee Value Proposition that helps employers attract and retain top talent.
In today’s digital world, IT is increasingly becoming a strategic business driver — integrating the old with the new, connecting internal and external ecosystems, improving access to information and helping the organization keep pace with rapid changes.