While this provides a unique opportunity for the CIO to elevate their role, it also presents challenges due to the digital illiteracy of some members of the C-suite and the ambiguous nature of the CIO role, explains Sungard Availability Services. Their latest research reveals that senior business leaders view IT as secondary when it comes to the overall business strategy, meaning that decision making is often siloed and not in line with the wider business objectives. It also outlines that many executives mistake consumer IT with enterprise IT, not quite understanding the complexities of ICTs role within the business. As a result many organisations might not be making the best business decisions regarding IT. The report recommends some considerations for CxOs looking to embrace the digitisation agenda:
Recognise that technology can be a potent, if not vital, competitive weapon;
Harness the CIOs unique position as a business leader and technologist who can deliver valuable ongoing insights;
Partner with your CIO to map out the digital transformation agenda. Work together to identify tangible ways to further embed ICT in the business;
The greatest bottom line impacts may actually come from operational improvements;
Remember, the CIO spends money on behalf of the organisation for the achievement of benefits, so the budgeting process should reflect this; and
Promote partnership with the lines of business, overcome resistance to change, and drive digital literacy across the organisation.
Achieving collaborative working relationships between the CIO and the leadership team is necessary to harness digital opportunities and to optimise the value from ICT investments. However, at the moment, not enough organisations are adopting this approach, which is hindering their growth opportunities,” comments Joe Peppard, professor of management at the European School of Management and Technology. Conversations must be two way if they are to encourage teams to spawn ideas that are enabled and shaped by IT, as well as help the CIO better understand the wider business priorities. Harnessed in the right way, these conversations will enable the CIO to not be seen as the office of No and to become a more integrated part of the leadership team. By Shan Schutte
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