Compare to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. The magic “I” of the CIO title sparks many imaginations and modern CIOs need to wear different hats and play multiple roles.
The Multiple Personas of Digital CIO Role
The Metaphorical Understanding about the Contemporary CIOs Multiple Personas? Digital CIOs are the highly complex role, they must look at the future of business from both strategic planning and technology envisioning lens. They must look at where the business is today and where it will be in five to ten years and ensure that information & technology can enable that vision going forward. Contemporary CIOs are expected to play multiple personas; besides being the tactical IT manager, leadership is considered the top attribute for digital CIOs. Creativity and cognitive ability are both nature and nurtured to shape CIOs as "Chief Innovation Officer," and "Chief Insight Officer." Here is the metaphorical understanding about the contemporary CIO’s multiple personas?
CIOs as “Chief Influence Officer” with Multidimensional Influence Tradition CIOs have been perceived as the tactical IT managers, running IT as a support function to keep the lights on. Nowadays, with fast-paced changes and overwhelming growth of information, contemporary CIOs face many leadership dilemmas: Being sustainable or disrupt, keep status quo or innovative? Act as a business executive or an IT manager, focus on transactional activities or transformative change etc. The command-control leadership style is no longer fit for the hyperconnected and highly transparent digital new normal. Digital CIOs today must shape their digital mindsets and develop their leadership capabilities to make multidimensional influence across the organization as well as the digital ecosystem.
CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to Demystify the Triple Puzzles of IT? Digital CIOs have to deal with multiple challenges. On one hand, modern IT plays a significant role in gluing the enterprise puzzle together to ensure the business as the whole is superior to the sum of pieces. On the other hand, due to the complex nature of technology and the exponential growth of information, IT itself is also like the large piece of the business puzzle sometimes being misplaced, because many IT organizations are still perceived slow, expensive, and not integrated with the business. In today’s digital dynamic and technical environment where IT is being used more and more around the globe for revenue generating initiatives, how to run a digital-ready IT as a thresholding competency of the organization via demystifying the following triple puzzles?
CIOs as “Chief Intrapreneur Officer”: Practicing Entrepreneurship in IT Contemporary CIOs have multiple personas, "Chief Innovation Officer," and “Chief Intrapreneur Officers,” are the most pertinent titles for CIOs to fit the digital leadership role in running IT as a business. Companies are recognizing that IT is roughly coupled to the business strategy as an innovation engine. With increasing pace of changes, CIOs generally have greater opportunities to stand out and practice digital leadership in driving innovation across their companies. Being entrepreneurial is first the mindset, then an attitude and skills are the easier part to be developed. More and more forward-looking IT organizations are practicing entrepreneurship and running IT as a software startup to play the niche and make continuous deliveries.
CIOs as Story Tellers: How to Harness Communication for Accelerating Digital Transformation: There are very few businesses today can state that IT does not play a significant role in the day to day operations or even long-term strategic positioning. However, there is the high percentage of IT organizations still get stuck at the very low level of maturity, being perceived as a cost center and back office support function. It is caused by the lack of strategic approach to reinventing IT as well as the poor communication between business and IT. Therefore, CIOs as digital leaders today have to truly become the strategic leader, to envision the role of IT in leading changes, and catalyzing strategy execution. They also need to be the great “storytellers” to harness communication for accelerating digital transformation.
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