Monday, August 28, 2017

CIOs as "Chief Insight Officer": Three Aspects to Shape the World-Class CIOs

The digital CIO will create a blue ocean for his/her organization which will provide a competitive advantage.

With overwhelming growth of information and continuous digital disruptions led by technologies, there is now a greater need for a CIO to understand business drivers and equip with digital mindsets, leverage information to make effective decisions and apply digital technologies to speed up IT and build business competitive capabilities, make digital influences which touch every aspect of the business and across the geographical and business territories. Here are three aspects to shape the world-class CIOs.

Visionary CIOs are needed: Vision is about zooming into the future as if it were closer. Vision is, in fact, important for today’s digital leaders because they need to observe, perceive, and pay attention to the myriad of internal, external, national or global forces that define and influence the way we do business these days. Visionary CIOs are more confident to lead their organizations in into the blurred territories and uncharted water. The technical visionary CIOs are able to not only articulate the vision but communicate it in various forms and forums, including BoDs, executive peers, investor relations, business partners, IT personnel, or customers. CIOs have to be able to infect and encourage with their vision and generate conviction and enthusiasm for the missions of the company. Therefore, a world-class CIO needs to be a good communicator, a good facilitator, a good listener, and a good collaborator. If vision is the destination, the strategy is the way to get there. The role of the CIO should be able to envision not only where a company believes it is going, but how it will get there, and how it might be missing out on opportunities because of limitations on understanding of disruptive technological trend and streamlined information flow. A visionary CIO is also a business strategist. A strategic CIO is changing the dynamics of the business enterprise by leveraging technology for strategic advantage. A strategic CIO creates IT and leverage information to create the long-term sustainable competitive advantage for organizations. In this way, the CIO will create a blue ocean for his/her organization which will provide a competitive advantage. The essence of being a world-class CIO should have capabilities to deliver the vision for their business, industry, and even bigger ecosystem, for building up the solid global leadership position and take the organization to the next level of digital maturity.

Innovative CIOs are in demand to reinvent IT as the business growth engine: To amplify their influence as the world-class CIOs, they must think as the global leader, to challenge conventional wisdom or groupthink. A confident CIO needs to keep asking, "why? why? why?"CIOs are expected to constantly propose new ideas and challenging the status quo. The transactional CIOs who are only putting stress on "have the knowledge" not on "build the knowledge" might be in danger just to preserve the organization and thus create huge constraints for the possible innovation. The CIO needs to provide the "innovation execution" service to their fellow business peers. The concentration should be on what these technologies can do for the businesses, not on the technology itself. IT also needs to shift from a change laggard to a change agent, via riding the learning curve faster than the rest of the company, fostering business innovation via lightweight and powerful digital technologies. Being able to become innovative or close is being able to think, and create new things based on its own needs, and develop the optimal solution. A world-class CIO with their finger on the pulse of technological advancement or information insight can provide many ideas on how new technology and abundance of information can create fresh new opportunities, renovate business model for upcoming business expansion and build a reputable global brand.

Global outlook: Majority of traditional CIOs are tactical IT managers who often speak IT jargons. To reinvent the CIO role as the world-class business executive, CIOs should be able to communicate effectively with all levels of the organization. With the advent of the Internet and social platform, nearly any company can be global, which brings fierce competitions, different cultures and customs, multiple technologies and significant business opportunities. Thus, the CIO needs to be an enterprise “polyglot,” to master both business dialogue and IT terminology, regional viewpoints and global perspectives.  There are many IT managers, but very few world-class digital leaders, the gap can only be bridged by ensuring that the CIO is an excellent communicator, who is business aware, digital savvy, global cognitive, and only finally, technically aware. A digital CIO can communicate effectively with all levels of the organization, has a solid grasp of the business goals and objectives, can think globally and holistically and take systematic approaches to solve business problems. In short, the CIO needs to talk like and actually delivers as a business executive who is also great communicators not only understand multiple ‘languages’ but also know the business context and always bring the unique insight to the table.

The true world-class CIOs have the strong leadership trait to be as “Chief Influence Officer”; they can think out-of-box as “Chief Innovation Officer”; they can leverage invaluable information in decision making and build a data-based business culture as  “Chief Insight Officer”; they can interpret with context intelligence as “Chief Interpretation Officer,”; and they can communicate with empathy as “Chief Interaction Officer.”


Post a Comment