The CIO role requires an unusual ability to be able to see the bigger picture into the future and a leader who has great attention to detail in executing even the smallest of tasks. However, crucially it does also come down to the strength of the team you have, to be surrounded by good people with a broad skillset makes a massive difference to your success in a CIO role.
With the pressures of digital transformation rising, the challenges for a future CIO is to be not only a leader within their business who is pushing for technological progression but also being responsible for overseeing the IT of an entire organisation. There is no doubt that taking on the role of a CIO is extremely challenging. It requires someone who can:
- Understand in depth the industry they’re in and how their particular business operates within this industry.
- Push for new ways technology and information can be introduced to lead the company in innovative directions or drive competitive edge at levels not previously reached.
- Implement and oversee the execution of IT Strategic plans and day-to-day operations.
However, it is not always so easy to be the most optimistic and inspiring leader, CIO’s can lose respect of their business and their employees if the IT organisation does not function well. This is when CIO’s can run the risk of failing important projects or even damaging their reputation with customers.
Something as small as poor customer service on the frontline service desk can effect the whole functioning and reputation of the business for a strategic leader. It is the same for requests that overrun on completion, this starts a yoyo affect causing delay in other areas or tasks. As a result a negative perception of the IT department can be created and spread across the rest of the company and then the remaining business leaders begin to question if the IT organisation can be relied upon as a strategic asset.
So how is a CIO supposed to be able to achieve such colossal goals?
Discipline. Good discipline that identifies and eliminates issues with customer service while pushing the achieve the goals of the IT strategy. Applying solid discipline on a day-to-day basis will help to maintain a high standard of service that will improve the likelihood of success for the organisation. It is also important to support the creativity of your team and encourage innovative ideas to be put into practice to endure not only results but better productivity from your team. All in all establishing stable processes, sufficiently training people in well established roles and responsibilities, and providing a positive oversight will keep an organisation running well and quickly highlight the areas that need improvement.