Traditionally linked to technological implementers, the role of CIOs have proliferated into prominent decision-makers. Having the opportunity to influence the board, CIOs should rethink how best to meet the role’s demands.
With the pandemic forcing organizations to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives and other initiatives that have been previously put to hold, it has provided to CIOs the opportunity to finally shine. From being just implements who managed IT and security as per C-suite decisions, they now have the upper hand and an important status among their peers. As organizations realize the critical role of IT in the survival of their business, they are heavily considering and adopting the suggestions given by their CIOs. With such an immense opportunity and strong position among the board, CIOs should know how they can leverage their work to shine in the spotlight that has been given to them.
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Here are five ways CIOs can embrace and thrive in the spotlight:
Championing the role as decision-maker
While technology has always been the key aspect to increase productivity, efficiency and profitability, it has never witnessed the level of awareness and importance it got in the past two years. Organizations that used to stall critical technological projects due to their expenditure reached out to CIOs to find ways to enable a productive remote working environment while tackling cyber threats. This seemingly overnight shift has expanded the CIO’s role as a decision-maker for tech-driven changes crucial to the company’s future. Thus, CIOs shouldn’t only focus on ensuring the smooth transition to new technologies. Instead, they should be proactive decision-makers that advocate for the priorities of the organization, objectives, and opportunities as well as becoming ready to sell and implement their vision.
The demand for digital business as well as the emergence in cybersecurity threats is driving the growth in IT budgets. In fact, as per Gartner’s 2021 study, IT spending is expected to increase to 8.6% in 2021. This has provided an opportunity for CIOs to plan or implement for the “next normal” as they continue to pursue post-pandemic opportunities. However, an expanded budget is not the only solution. CIOs still need to prioritize what projects require their immediate attention and which ones do not. They should ruthlessly set clear priorities depending on the business needs.
Addressing ad hoc pandemic measures
Most employees want to work remotely or in a hybrid work setting regardless of their current employment status. This poses a challenge for organizations as they are still far behind in supporting such models with issues related to security and productivity. Moreover, they are still not confident enough that they will be able to fend off security threats posed by the hybrid working model. Therefore, the responsibility falls upon the shoulders of CIOs to not lead decision-making in IT but also consult for tech-driven changes critical to the future of their organization. They should promote investment in hardware and software and prove the benefits of those investments to their board members.