Relying just on technology to lead a successful digital transformation is not a viable option in today’s enterprise landscape. It is important for CIOs to have strong leadership skills to take charge of the digital journey of their enterprise through considerable organizational change.
Enterprise IT leaders are under tremendous pressure especially considering the biggest business disruption in recent years. They have been charged with deploying digital initiatives, ensuring cybersecurity and compliance measures, supporting innovation as well as enhancing customer interactions while reducing costs.
Technology is changing at a rapid pace, so is the demand as well as the skills needed for a CIO. Here are a few traits of effective IT leaders that not only kept the business operation of their enterprise alive but also showcased the skills required to thrive in the future.
With more enterprises focusing on deploying frequently and iteratively while eliminating manual processes, it is important for CIOs to become adaptable to such situations. Also, as the idea of digital projects has gone in favor of digital products, being adaptable is especially important. CIOs should collaborate with their counterparts to understand their perspectives and incorporate them while developing strategies. Additionally, CIOs should make technology shifts without disrupting their initiatives and strategies underway.
The CIO’s mind set should be that of a risk taker- ready to embark on journeys whose outcome could be uncertain under some situations- like they could be okay with embarking on digital journeys where the endpoints are not fixed. They should be able to embrace ambiguity, promote experimentation and agility while ensuring there is a framework in place that manages the risk.
Adept at fostering relationships
The success of every project relies on the adoption of digital products and its uptake versus just making it go live. It is important that CIOs understand who the stakeholders are and how they will benefit from the deployment. Therefore, CIOs should invest time to strengthen and foster their relationships with their business partners. They should develop the ability to understand the needs of their business partners and collaborate with them on business processes and technology solutions. Instead of collaborating during a specific project, CIOs need to create structure and processes that enable them to build and sustain the relationships.
As the role of the CIO is one of the few ones that have connections across the entire enterprise, their value relies on the trust and partnership they have with all stakeholders. Therefore, they should have the ability to effectively communicate with internal and external partners and should be able to know what steps they can take to motivate others. The ability to communicate goals and strategies and explain how every employee plays a crucial role in digital transformation can help to foster a culture of understanding, ownership and collaboration.
As the uncertainty in the enterprise landscape continues, it is important that CIOs not only keep themselves informed, but also incorporate the traits that will enable them to effectively navigate it.