By Anthony Smit

cio digital

We are living in the golden age of tech innovation, where personalization and customer-centric experiences are transformed and empowered through digitization. Digitization also enables greater collaboration between teams and ecosystems, customers and partners. But in return, it requires businesses to reimagine themselves from the inside out, giving rise to a new breed of Chief Information Officer (CIO), one who possesses vision, business acuity and flexibility.

Technology is fundamental to profit growth, increased market share, and gaining customers, however, if c-suite leadership – especially CIOs – hope to monetize the customer-personalization model, they need to pursue opportunities that yield differentiated business value through technology. Tech-supported innovations such as workload transformation through artificial intelligence, secure architecture that protects assets, and the ability to act with agility. Successful enterprises are rooted in agility and organizations expect technology leaders to support flexibility. When organizations place technology at the center of their business strategy, they have a reliable and efficient underlying technology stack to support their sales, marketing and customer service initiatives.

It follows that CIOs are the go-to choice for spearheading digital transformation, with their deep knowledge of digital technologies, the ability to envision technology-driven business change and, most importantly, their understanding of how the business works. However, the CIOs that succeed as innovation leaders will be those who can create compelling digital visions and include the rest of the business to help realize the vision. 

Transformation is so incumbent upon the modern CIO, that, according to IBM, the “I” in CIO doesn’t stand for “information” anymore, but now includes innovation, ideation, investment and social interactions. While technology acumen is a key prerequisite, their success rises and falls on ‘soft’ skills, such as successful communication, relationship-building, and delivering on their commitments. 

A recent report states that 40% of CIOs will be responsible for co-leading business-wide innovation by 2022. Whatever their approach and delivery, CIOs of today need a clear strategic vision and the full support of the business to do so.​

cio digital

What is expected of today’s CIO

  1. Modern CIOs embrace CTO responsibilities. The CIO of today needs a more hands-on approach to the technology and processes that drive and support the business strategy.
  2. More IT budget, but more value is expected. As the need for updated IT infrastructure and security drives greater IT spend, so too the demand for ROI and evidence-based value is placed squarely on IT leaders’ shoulders. 
  3. Small, steady improvements with continuous iterations. Organizations are embracing iterative change, with continuous tech and system integrations with ongoing delivery. Smaller, more frequent developments encompass tech and process improvements to personal growth and training, and include a fresh approach about overcoming failure and the power of ‘yet’.
  4. Real-time, fluid resource allocation towards greater speed and agility. By 2025, 75% of CIOs will reshape their budgets, assets, and talent in an attempt to overcome the age-old obstacles of rigid IT funding and resources, in the pursuit of greater digital transformation and keeping costs down.
  5. Greater partnership with the business to improve employee experience. By 2023, 60% of CIOs will deploy strategic, outcome-based, immersive employee engagement initiatives that incorporate continuous learning, collaboration, and innovation within digital workspaces to boost productivity and attract the best talent. 

As the pace of digital transformations accelerates, CIOs who hope to achieve digital success need to strategically break down the moving parts of digital transformation into manageable portions, while ensuring foundation elements are securely in place. 

In these uncertain economic and political times, the key to keeping businesses afloat is a centralized digital foundation, a pool of resources for widespread innovation and a responsive technology funding model, according to Gartner.

To do this, CIOs need a clear strategy and vision of what the desired future state looks like, and an understanding of how IT supports the business’s greater goals and objectives.

If this is something you would like to see developed in your IT team and organization, then Tandem CIO is your partner in digital transformation.