Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Monthly “CIO Master” Book Tuning: The Multitude of Digital CIO Leadership Aug, 2017

Compare to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and re-energized. The magic “I” of the CIO title sparks many imaginations and modern CIOs need to wear different hats and play multiple roles. Here is a set of blogs to brainstorm digital CIOs’ multitude of digital leadership.


 The Multitude of Digital CIO Leadership

The CIO as “Chief Instrument Officer”: How to Lead Changes and Orchestrate Digital Transformation Effortlessly? Every forward-thinking organization claim they are in the information management business, nowadays IT plays a critical role in the business growth and digital transformation. Within a mature organization, the CIO is a leadership role which requires the breadth of the business knowledge and the depth of technical insight. What determines the level of the CIO position is the impact they have made across the company and even industry, and hence their reputation, their reporting line, their title, hopefully further to their achievements, rather than their mere contribution for the company bottom line that helped them reach the current level. At the digital era, high mature CIOs are “Chief Instrument Officers,” who can lead changes and orchestrate digital transformation effortlessly.

CIOs as Chief Interaction Officer: Three Questions at the Big Table to Accelerate Digital Transformation  Traditional IT organization is often perceived as the support function and a cost center and traditional CIOs are perceived as tactical IT managers and tech geeks. To really be considered an equal peer with other top business executives and board directors. CIOs have needed to both convince and deliver the alternative view of IT being a profit enabler and innovation engine. IT leaders have to communicate effectively to advocate IT as the strategic partner of the business. Because miscommunication or “lost in translation” is the key issue to separate IT from the business, it is worth the effort to take better communication approaches and be both creative and critical in enforcing business and IT collaboration. At the big table, which questions CIOs should ponder in order to enforce communication and accelerate digital transformation?

A “Structural CIO”: How to Manage IT Systematically? Information becomes omnipresent and technology is the disruptive force behind the digital transformation. In modern society, computation has become one of the most important disciplines of the science, this is because it is the science of how machines can be made to carry out intellectual processes and capabilities. IT is an engineering discipline, as always, but adding more enriched digital context for the paradigm shift. Hence, an effective CIO’s job is to take the structural approach to improve operations via reducing the waste and burden on the company, improving systems, streamlining processes and providing continually expanding business solutions while trying to stay current and riding the learning curve with ever-changing technologies. Though one of the most magic titles of the CIO is “Chief Innovation Officer,” today’s modern CIOs are also the “structural CIOs” who can manage changes & innovation systematically, and accelerate digital transformation in a structural way.

CIOs as “Chief Inquisitiveness Officer”: Three Big “WHYs” to Reimagine IT for Getting Digital Ready: Different IT organizations and enterprises as are at the different stage of the business maturity, IT can be used as a tool, enabler, integrator, catalyzer, or a digital game changer to meet the ultimate goal of an organization's short/medium/long-term strategic plans. Many IT organizations are at the crossroad, should they continue to be run as the cost center to keep the lights on only, and gradually become irrelevant? Or should they take the bold steps, move up the maturity level to get digital ready? The answer seems to be no brainer, but CIOs today, in fact, face numerous management dilemma. They have to reimagine the new possibilities, convey a clear technological vision to both convince and deliver the alternative view of IT being a profit enabler and innovation engine. Digital CIOs are “Chief Inquisitiveness Officer,” they have to keep asking thought-provoking questions to brainstorm the better way to run IT. Here are three big “WHYs” questions to diagnose the possible causes of IT effectiveness, and improve IT maturity for getting digital ready.

CIOs as Digital Masters: Nowadays technologies make impacts on every core process of the business and information is permeating into every corner of the organization. Unfortunately, too many CIOs are still perceived as just techies by the business side of the house, and the IT departments see CIOs as a tactical IT managers who don't have enough strategic vision and hands-on business acumen. In order to be an effective Digital CIO and lead effectively, you must understand every aspect of the business and have digital fluency for driving the business transformation. The priority for CIOs is to genuinely position IT as an integral and inseparable part of the business. Because CIOs will continue to be put on the front line to run IT as a digital transformer, they need to become digital masters themselves and ensure their organizations are digital savvy and customer-centric.

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