It goes without saying that the right CIO can make or break a company’s digital transformation. Successful digital transformation initiatives require a specific set of skills from CIOs.
The most effective digital transformations are led from the top of the company. A CIO with the correct mix of skills and approach can help facilitate an organization’s digital transformation or, in the best-case scenario, accelerate it. In many circumstances, the CIO’s viewpoint is the most influential in a technology discussion.
As a result, CIOs engaging in digital transformation projects must possess a specific set of skills. The following are the most critical capabilities for IT leaders driving transformation today:
Five Skills CIOs Need to Make Their Digital Transformation Initiatives a Success
Having a growth mindset
A risk-averse CIO is a poor fit for the accelerating digital evolution. To serve as a leader and an advocate of continuous development, they must embrace change and continuous learning. A CIO who welcomes, promotes and thrives on the change that digitalization brings, will have a significantly more positive impact on the process than one who sits on the sidelines, supports the program only sporadically, or ignores it entirely.
That said, most CIOs of today are thrilled to have such a broad and beneficial impact on the firm, and are willing to go above and beyond to support digital transformation.
Knowledge of the domain and business processes
CIOs in charge of digitization must know the core drivers of the business. A strong strategic CIO recognizes that becoming digital involves more than just technology. IT executives must be capable of identifying process improvements, analyzing new operating models, and a variety of other operations that necessitate fundamental business changes.
Only CIOs who grasp the business benefits of digital transformation and educate digital skeptics within their organizations will be able to secure company-wide buy-in. Because partners can be impacted by a full-scale disruption, IT leaders also require a thorough awareness of their organization’s business ecosystem.
Orchestration and collaboration
Today’s successful IT leaders recognize the importance of other business disciplines and roles and the value they bring to the digital table. CIOs must become even more collaborative leaders in the aftermath of the pandemic. They will struggle if they’re not used to collaborating at that level within their organization.
Skills in technology translation
IT executives must also possess the ability to translate technical jargon into terms that the board, C-suite, and other key stakeholders understand. Companies must choose a seasoned CIO to spearhead their digital changes in order to bring them to scale. Digital leaders, on the other hand, must have a strong business background in order to drive strategy and align key stakeholders behind similar goals. Because communicating technical knowledge to C-suite executives and investors can be difficult, such CIOs are few and far between.
Employees have never had to modify their work life so significantly and quickly in the past. Without the correct approach, digital change can result in anxiety, disagreement, and turnover. While change management skills were formerly relegated to other departments and disciplines, it is now critical for senior IT executives to be well-versed in change frameworks, engagement, and management.
This is not an HR-only responsibility or a secondary workstream on the project plan. The program’s success hinges on the leader’s capacity to successfully manage change. Leaders must support this in a way that encourages staff to have a positive attitude. Enhance the organization’s current support structures, such as learning, coaching, training, and mentoring, and determine whether new ones are required. This will minimize employee frustration levels that comes with the pressures of simultaneous technology, process, and behavioral change.