Saturday, July 14, 2018

Three Perspectives for CIOs to Stand out as the Top Digital Leader

The CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to bridge business and IT; data and insight; what customers’ what and what the business can deliver; the business’s today and tomorrow.

As we all know that the only "Certainty" or a "Constant" is "CHANGE." Business is only an extended part of our life and all businesses have to accept change to survive. Organizations rely more and more on technologies; the IT department has more to overcome in streamlining information flow and running at digital speed. Thus, CIOs generally have greater opportunities to stand out as the top business executive and take the digital leadership role in creating business value across their companies and drive digitalization steadfastly.

Being opportunistic by collecting feedback from customers, users, or channel partners:
Digital CIOs today need to become the business opportunist for capturing growth opportunities and explore the “art of possible.” They should be open-minded for taking constructive criticism from customers and turning the beating, lashing, and criticism into opportunities by demonstrating through the successful IT deliveries that benefit the top-line business growth. A CIO should get a deeper understanding of the issues facing both internal customers and end customers, figuring out how to provide better products/solutions to delight customers. CIOs usually do have some advantage to introduce something new, the new apps to delight customers, the new processes to engage employees, or the new trends perceived by real-time information to influence the next generation of products and services. Digital CIOs must also have the ability to see the ideas of others and transform them into action. A CIO role is changing and encompassing a wider spectrum within the organization, focus on making a difference in the business.

Being insightful by having an in-depth understanding of business information: Digital CIOs are official owners of one of the most invaluable business assets - information. Business information is the very clue to understanding every step of customer purchasing, or potential risks the business perhaps encounter. Uncertainty in the business or in any situation is a smoke cover for the opportunist to take the risk to advance in the direction of the goal. We cannot predict everything beforehand but can imagine with many experiences involved in current or in the past. For CIOs standing out as the top business leader, they must be insightful for sharing the information-based perspective about the future of business. The uncertainty will be the new normality and the leader must act with speed. Through catching customer insight and understanding their need, IT can reinvent itself as a customer champion and see it as an opportunity to reboot IT mentality as the digital engine of the business growth and innovation hub to achieve better than expected business profits.

Being keen on exploring new technologies and new markets to unleash the business potential: Technology is often the disruptive force behind digitalization. It is changing so frequently, the effective CIO can determine which trends will bring value to their respective businesses, and then, they must know how to sell those trends as the valuable benefit to the business partners, and finally, they must implement them flawlessly. By taking step by step wisely, digital CIOs can build a great reputation as the trustful business partner, steer the business toward things IT recommends to use and delivers the true business value solidly. Whether CIOs can stand out as the top digital leader or not depends on how clear their vision is to navigate the rapidly changing IT trends; how boldly they can execute the well-set strategic business goals and how persuasively they can present date-support business results to the tailored audience and truly running IT as the business.

The CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to bridge business and IT; data and insight; what customers’ what and what the business can deliver; the business’s today and tomorrow. To be truly great and stand out as the top business executive, you have to be confident in building the reputation as a business strategist, an innovative leader, and a digital ambassador, to reach the high level of leadership maturity.


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