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Evolution in the Role of CIOs

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Aveek Pal Chaudhuri

How Information Technology presents itself before enterprises is basically being changed by Digital Transformation. According to Jeff Bezo, CEO and President, Amazon, “In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.”

Alerted CIOs are making progress in their respective roles henceforth. There are successful CIOs that are business leaders in digital platforms and many of them have gained momentum in business profit by supporting IT organizations with digital superpower like taking work on cloud environments.

This year CIOs role will evolve and here are the key trends:

1. Moving From Information To Innovation
This year CIOs will lead as business heads and function as strategy leaders. Some are ready to function as chief digital innovation officer and increase company growth through transformation into a data-driven enterprise by deploying technologies. This is a step required by CIOs to exhibit for understanding the digital technologies and how they can be operated at a low cost. They will also understand how information technology can generate new revenue opportunities and increase company growth. CIOs will also need to polish their business skills and create relationships with CEOs and GMs to collaborate as strategic partners. CIOs inclined towards digital transformation will be able to make hold multiple roles.

2. Performing As A Decision Maker
There is a trend of swinging back towards information technology as the decision-maker from when digital transformation started. Operations-centric projects will be back to information

technology for change management, implementation, and sustainment, CIOs are considered as key decision-makers, and as a result, they will be needed in IT services vendors and consultancies.

3. Business Development Skills
This is the year when CIOs should continue to increase their business acumen and gain advantage over relationship-building skills. In addition to just understanding business needs and developing systems or applications for support, CIOs should be highly embedded in the business, supply chain and value chain, and P&L. They are responsible to drive adoption. There will be a need for multiple CIOs at one corporate house.

4. People Skills
CIOs are responsible for digital transformation even in areas where their expertise are limited. CIOs will have opportunities to development of human resources for enterprises and like them, CHRO will be having the strategic role for making employee experience equivalent to the customer experience. Information technology and human resource teams will collaborate and develop a workforce for achieving targets. CIOs are expected to function in hiring and training for new skills and identifying the development areas of an enterprise.

5. Careful Changing In CIO’s Role
It is assumed that some CIOs might take conservative approach to introduction of technology. Cost-saving that didn’t arrive with cloud, the expenditures that continue to mount with cyber and gradual realization that every change the CIO makes goes through the human change management of an enterprise will lead CIOs to stay more careful.

6. Consuming Portfolio Management Strategy
CIOs that are strategic will continue to partner with P&L holders across the business and become catalysts for achieving respective business outcomes. For achieving that effectively, CIOs need to take unique management measures. They will have to look at their teams and stacks as a collection of portfolios, go through all different ways present to them for optimizing operations and help business acclaim the strategic objectives.

7. Having Deep Partner Bench
Corporate information technology cannot keep pace with the complicated and rapidly changing tech market by itself. Therefore, CIOs will need to stay focused on developing an ecosystem of technology providers to accelerate the business capabilities other than looking on building these capabilities from internally.

8. Welcoming New Organizational Models and Processes
CIOs to be charged to lead the information technology in newer ways and create more cross-functional teams with the business. Approaches like design thinking will be the primary thing and CIOs are introducing the enterprise to the art of the possible by conceptualizing, incubating and rapidly deploying transformative technologies, leading-edge digital tools and data-driven intelligence.

9. Burying The Line Between Business and Information Technology
When most of the business units are transformed into digital platforms, it will become more important for CIOs to lead those business units and go with the change.

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