3 steps to become a dynamic CIO: leadership, developing skill sets and vision

The transformation of business, technology and the IT department has led to CIOs influencing change in the enterprise.

By Chloe Dobinson
Sept. 14, 2016


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As CIOs have taken on increased business responsibilities, their skill sets have started to evolve.

CIOs are now being given the opportunity to increase revenues as strategic business partners rather than just technology leaders. The transformation of business, technology and IT departments has seen 40% of CIOs having the platform as a digital leader to influence change in the organisation, according to Gartner.

But the CIO still needs to demonstrate strategic business skills. A CIO needs to look beyond the role of technology, looking at the the customer perspective and create a better experience for their users and consumers. CIO UK looks at how a CIO can become an influential figure in the boardroom and become a strategic business partner.

CIO as a strategic business partner: Challenges for a strategic leader

Business leadership skills can be challenging for a CIO. Creating a strategic technology vision for the company is a complex and creative process for a CIO.

Engagement with in IT is crucial for executives and staff to embrace new technologies being implemented.

CIOs can play an active role in the business strategy by raising any future issues technology has and any concerns over IT effectiveness. CIOs can engage the business through presentations and workshops of how technologies will benefit the organisation.

The pressure on CIOs to become strategic thinkers, looking at the resources for employees, can help create a vision for IT. The role has seen the CIO expand from IT and taking some of the responsibilties of a CEO. The modern CIO can be hiring IT talent, implementing IT strategies and reducing costs increasing their chance to be a potential business partner.

The role development for a CIO will see a CIO advance against fellow executives with having a better knowledge of the business strategy. But it can be a challenge for IT directors, with some research showing 13% have a lack of time when acting as a strategic partner to oversee IT projects.

CIO as a strategic business partner: Skill sets

The future of the CIO role looks promising with 57% of CIOs now sitting in the executive boardroom, according to the 2016 Harvey Nash survey. While in the 2016 CIO 100 56% of CIOs now report to their organisation's CEO.

Research has shown the most important skills a CIO can have are leadership, analysis, strategic vision and communications. The changing technology leadership landscape has led to old priorities of IT management declining and an increasing alignment with business goals.

A modern CIO now spends at least one day per week outside of IT. The repositioning of the company structure has seen the CIO go from handling IT operations to having a business mind-set.

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