The CIO position has been around for more than 40 years, and it has evolved over that period to become what it is today. The internet’s rise, the transition to digital, the migration to the cloud, and the movement to remote and hybrid workforces have all forced business leaders, particularly CIOs, to rethink how they connect their technology and teams with growing tech trends and shifting corporate priorities.
Countless organizations were relying on outdated technology with understaffed IT departments during the pandemic, investing in technology at a breakneck pace to tackle the problems given by the new work environment. These investments were frequently made directly by departments, with little or no monitoring or control from central IT. It is now normal to find new employees who are in charge of technology that the IT department is unaware of.
When technological decisions and investments are made outside the CIO’s authority, the relationship between the CIO, IT, and the rest of the company changes.
Traditionally, the CIO’s role was to identify, build, and maintain business IT systems, with money set aside to investigate and promote innovation within the company. CIOs were charged with pioneering digital transformation and the cloud journey in the 2000s and 2010s.
Today’s CIO must serve as an advisor and partner to departments across the enterprise, attempting to understand the needs of the larger organization and ensuring that those needs are satisfied in a way that benefits both the individual and the larger organization’s goals.
Evolving into an advisor role
Because of the reliance on technology for income and growth, IT managers and leaders are sought out for strategic advice more than ever before. Furthermore, the prevalence of cloud, SaaS, and hybrid work necessitates IT leaders and managers to deal with greater complexity, necessitating capabilities that were previously unavailable. The need for analytics to assist firms in making more data-driven decisions is an excellent example of this.
CIOs should take the following four measures to establish themselves as trustworthy advisors:
Advocate for others
Instead of acting as a gatekeeper or a watchdog over the activities of other teams, CIOs should act as an advisor on the art of the possible. Using information obtained from the CIO role, collaborate with departments across the organization to remove technological hurdles and stay ahead of difficulties.
Create a picture/understanding of the technology estate for others
Understanding the tech stack’s efficiency and how it can be improved is crucial to comprehending the larger technological picture. Good mastery of estate is a core activity that firms can then improve, whether they are looking at their assets from cost management, optimization, or information security standpoint. Showback reporting is an excellent approach to bringing the costs of other business units into focus.
Engineering should be integrated
Managing contracts and understanding the ins and outs of an organization’s mission-critical technology requires bringing together an organization’s internal and external technology vendors and suppliers in a safe manner. IT teams typically have a lot of experience handling contracts and vendor relationships, so make use of that – it’s not just about the technical skills.
Organize cloud coverage
A successful digital transformation requires the ability to understand and manage the organization’s cloud usage (including IaaS and SaaS). Cloud adoption is on the rise, but when it comes to compliance and security, the IT department will be called upon.