‘SMART’ CIOs for emerging organisations and leveraging technology to get competitive advantage

16 Oct 2019

Emerging organizations that want to digitally transform and compete in the modern business landscape must become smarter, leveraging big data, machine learning, AI and other emerging technologies to create an organization that is engaged with its customers and other stakeholders. Smart CIOs must stop aligning and start co-evolving to effectively lead a smart enterprise. Smart CIOs must quit aligning technology requirements with the business and start co-evolving with customers and ecosystem partners. They are helping organisations embrace business change in the digital age (Rayome, 2019).

Things that CIOs can do to make their organization smarter

  1. Embrace data but also make it meaningful
  2. Find ways to scale your experiments and prototypes
  3. Co-evolve with your customers and external partners
  4. Focus on the future while sustaining your existing skills, processes and competencies
  5. Modernize your systems and processes
  6. Ensuring joint accountability between business and technology owners
  7. Involving technology leaders in business decision-making

A smart CIO must be more strategic and operate on behalf of the business. One of the major benefits of emerging technologies is the data they generate. Data-driven organizations require professionals who understand and thrive with data.

Smart CIOs know that engagement on more and more digital channels is a must, but they also understand that its not just being on the channels, its understanding what, anticipating and delivering what individual customers desire. CIOs say it is not about collecting a customer’s data but making use of it through sentiment mining, social network analysis and other analytics tools. Smart CIOs know that they must be information stewards rather than heads of technology (EngageCustomer, 2019).

A smart CIO must be more strategic and operate on behalf of the business. One of the major benefits of emerging technologies is the data they generate. Data-driven organizations require professionals who understand and thrive with data.

The responsibilities of the modern CIO have changed drastically over the recent years. Instead of exclusively focusing on IT operations, the role is now seen as a strategic business position that is necessary for bringing change and transformation within emerging organisations. Digital business is underpinned by technology whether is AI, quantum computing or conservational platforms and CIOs are actively acknowledging the potential for AI to be a game-changer and they are investing in the technology (Panetta, 2018).

Smart CIOs recognize these four key truths about the nature of their role:

  1. Know the value of strategy

Businesses today, depend more and more on technology and in every department requires technological knowledge, CIOs must focus on ways in which IT can help the organisation reach its goals.

  1. Get the right people in the right seats

Moving IT from an operational focus to a strategic focus, smart CIOs know how to get the right people in the right places. They assess gaps in IT service delivery and develop plans to bridge skill gaps and utilize talent effectively.

  1. Know when to ask for help

Most CIOs assume they must carry the burden of technology alone however, smart CIOs know when they have hit their ceiling and are not afraid to raise their hands and tell business leaders that it is time to ask for outside help.

  1. Communicate the value of IT efforts

Some members of the leadership team may not be tech savvy and therefore, a smart CIO knows how to communicate the value of their initiatives to the rest of the organisation. They can formulate their recommendations and efforts in a manner that quantifies ROI and demonstrates exactly how to solve issues like time to market, product development, delivery, agility, responsiveness, and meeting customer demands (5qpartners, 2019).

In conclusion, with the responsibility to take on a digital transformation, customer focus and business critical projects, a smart CIO is more visible than ever. Between maintaining infrastructure, coming up with new ways to use information and data to drive business forward and leading digital transformation efforts, having a smart CIO is very important.

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