The majority surveyed, 63%, now say business and leadership skills are more important than technology skills.
Question: Why is that type of business-focused mindset being adopted by more CIOs?
Cindy: No longer are we back with our team talking about technical solutions, but the CEOs are looking for us to sit at the table with them, be a part of the conversations, and to help drive those business problems, letting technology enable it.
Subodh: The boards truly expect more frequent and ongoing engagement. This new level of IT and business alignment allows the CIO to make smarter investments that support core business objectives. Closer alignment lets CIOs and their teams adapt IT architectures more quickly to address changing business needs. Transformative CIOs create the line of sight from technology investments to the operational changes they drive, to the business value they create. Creating the line of sight creates transparency and that in turn creates confidence.
Cindy: I’ve created a functional area that works directly with the business to understand those strategic imperatives and then make sure that we align our technology strategy right along with the business. These are things that we have to do to move quickly. Things change on a dime with the business. One day we’re moving forward with one decision, two days later the market has changed, and we must react to that immediately.
Question: How can you position technology investments in the context of business goals rather than IT projects to increase buy-in for transformation initiatives?
Subodh: Let me give you a very common example. An ERP modernization discussion can come up triggered by the vendor. The Transformative CIO can frame it as an opportunity for functional transformation: to drive actions and behavior; to engage their business counterparts and create a next shared vision for future of the functions; articulate the business value from those investments; and then radiate those same behaviors to the teams lower in the organization, so that they can work hand in hand to execute on that vision. That’s how you drive change; that’s how you create a real impact.
The talent imperative
Transformative CIOs know that their success depends in large part on the team around them. But building – and retaining – a great team continues to be a challenge.