While the pandemic did help the CIOs to gain mainstream acceptance, many organizations still hold on to their past perceptions. Therefore, CIOs must take it upon themselves to strengthen their position within the organization.
The emergence of the pandemic finally brought forth the importance of the CIO within the organization. Many executives turned to their IT leaders to help them run their business operations in a virtual setting. Moreover, the advancement in technology space such as cloud computing, remote workforces, and multiple regulatory mandates, have strengthened and uplifted the CIO role equal to or, in some cases exceeding their counterparts in the C-suite executives. Yet, some organizations still do not acknowledge the critical role that CIOs play in a firm; they still hold onto their old perception.
Instead of relying on their organizations to recognize their importance, CIOs themselves should take the responsibility to strengthen their position within the organization. They should start their work by targeting multiple business areas that were once considered off-limits or did not even exist in the past. They should be adaptable to the current evolving enterprise landscape.
Following are a few steps CIOs can take to strengthen their position within the organization:
Position themselves as transformational leaders
CIOs should capitalize on digital technologies to build resiliency and organizational agility. They should strive to become the driving force to effectively scale out new technologies as well as innovations. CIOs should position themselves as the go-to person for their C-suite executives to accomplish their objectives. Instead of only acting as an individual that looks over the technology project delivery and management, they should bring an outcome and value-oriented approach to the job. They should be proactive in their approach and strive to build an IT enterprise embedded into front-office operations that is critical to success.
Build a tailored measurement framework
Another way for CIOs to build a practical framework is to measure their progress towards agreed-upon business goals. They should have a clear delineation between required strategic operations and strategic initiatives. They should collect timely measurements, monitor progress, and communicate their achievements.
CIOs should show their peers what they can and cannot do with the resources at their disposal to elevate themselves within the organization. One of the ways to get started is by providing a presentation to their counterparts about the cyber requirements through a risk management framework. A robust expert opinion backed up by data is a powerful tool that uplifts the status of the CIO role.
CIOs should educate their counterparts that IT and security continuously evolve and need the support from higher management. By building a compelling case and demonstrating a good ROI in the long-run, CIOs can better position themselves and their teams as being an integral asset to the business operation of the organization.
Never disregard external advice
To further strengthen the position within the organization, CIOs should actively try to build and foster relationships outside of the organization. They should never disregard unbiased external advice when facing a challenging situation. They allow CIOs to effectively create a roadmap. Moreover, senior leadership within the organization is also likely to dismiss the external advice while supporting the CIOs in their initiatives.