Over the years, the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) has greatly evolved and changed. The CIO has grown from being the IT guy at the company to being the backbone of the growth of the company.
As a CIO today, you are responsible for everything from keeping the company’s computers up and running to managing digital transformation in the company. CIOs today are expected to help their businesses leverage technology to grow revenue, engage customers, improve products and services, streamline operations, and even find new ways to exploit their data.
Today, so much rides on how well CIOs succeed in this role, you would think Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) would be paying more attention to what is happening in IT – especially given the growing focus on cybersecurity in the wake of recent high-profile attacks.
The rise of digital business has raised the stakes for them even further: digital technologies have created new business opportunities and new competitors, while also increasing customer expectations. As a result, CEOs want their CIOs to be more involved in strategy than ever before – not just as technical experts but as partners who can help shape business decisions across the enterprise.
There are various reasons why CEOs are expecting their CIOs to play a key role in the company. Here, I look at some of these key reasons why CIOs are important in the operation of any company that is looking to explore digital transformation in its growth.
The Responsibilities of a CIO Have Grown
As a CIO today, you are responsible for the company’s technology strategy and infrastructure – the hardware, software, and networks that help employees communicate and collaborate with one another. When it comes to CEOs’ expectations, they want to know what kind of value your role brings to the organization – and how they can expect that value to grow in the future.
The stakes for CIOs have raised with the rise of digital business. Technology is changing the way we work and CIOs are at the centre of technology in any organizations which means they play a pivotal role any company. It is clear that digital technologies are disrupting business models and consumer behaviour.
CIOs have more responsibility than ever before in shaping and leading their organisations’ digital transformation journeys. They must be able to adapt to change quickly, anticipate what’s coming next and provide dound advice to business leaders on how best to leverage emerging technologies like cloud computing, analytics, and robotics (or AI)
Digital Technologies Have Created New Business Opportunities
The digital revolution has created new opportunities for businesses, but it has also led to new competitors in your market. As a CIO, you must contend with these new threats to the business – but you also need to move quickly and decisively when it comes to seizing the opportunities digital technologies present. This can be a challenge for any company, but especially for companies who have been slow to adapt their business models or product lines in response to changes in technology.
The best way for a CIO to help their CEO is by providing them with as much information about these new technologies as possible, so that they can make informed decisions about how best to respond when faced with challenges from both inside and outside the organization.
CIOs Are More Vital To A Company’s Success Than Ever Before
Even though the role of the CIO has evolved over time, it hasn’t always been clear what they do or how they fit into corporate hierarchy. Over the past 15 years or so, however, it has become increasingly apparent that CEOs and other senior executives expect them to help their businesses leverage technology to grow revenue, engage customers, improve products and services, streamline operations and even gain competitive advantage by finding new ways to exploit their data.
This expectation is driven in part by big changes in business models—companies such as Amazon have transformed retailing; Uber has revolutionized transportation; Apple built an entire ecosystem around its smartphones—as well as by concerns about cybersecurity and privacy issues on top of all those laws and regulations facing most companies these days (think GDPR).
The CIO is Crucial in The CEOs Decision Making Process
As the role of CIO has evolved, the role of the CEO has also changed over time. CEOs are now responsible for everything from the website to the building maintenance, and it’s the CIO’s job to ensure they have access to all of these services at a reasonable cost.
The rise of digital business has raised the stakes for CIOs.
Jody Hoffer Gitell, a prfessor at Brandeis University says “They can’t just be good at IT. They need to understand what it takes to run a global organization.”
For the CIO, this means keeping up with changing technology trends and ensuring that employees have easy access to whatever tools they need — all while making sure security is top-of-mind when implementing new systems or updating old ones.
CEOs Need To Change Their Perspective On IT Spending
Some CEOs still see IT as a cost center with little or no bearing on their business’s ability to grow revenue, attract customers or boost market value. CIOs are expected to help their businesses grow and should be paid accordingly.
In fact, the role of the CIO has evolved from simply managing enterprise technology to being responsible for almost every aspect of an organization’s day-to-day operations – from marketing initiatives to supply chain management and customer service.
CEOs need to prioritize doing the best job possible in supporting their CIOs. It’s a pity that some CEOs still see IT as a cost centre with little or no bearing on their business’s ability to grow revenue, attract customers, or boost market value.
It can be easy for CIOs to get bogged down by the minutiae of day-to-day operations rather than focusing on how they contribute directly to the business model. It is, therefore, the role of CEO to ensure that the CIO focuses on his role of using digital innovations to the benefit of the company’s growth.