CIOs across EMEA report that digitisation is increasing the effectiveness of key business lines, including customer service, HR, finance, IT and legal, yet a large proportion face challenges in continuing that impact because of weaknesses in their organisations. That’s according to research from ServiceNow, a leading digital workflow company making work, work better for people. In light of this, industry experts discuss the subject.
Ian Jansen van Rensburg, Senior Systems Engineer at VMware SSA
In today’s world, companies are looking to CIO’s to be the digital leaders that are trailblazing the way forward. The CIO of yesterday was merely an infrastructure provider that kept the lights on.
On the other hand, the super CIO of the future is a business leader who understands how to maximise the business value of technology throughout the organisation.
The only constant in life is change. The CIO of today needs to innovate, be even closer to the pulse of their business than before and challenge themselves to constantly evolve and keep up with the ever-changing digital world. Those who are willing to accept and step into this world of change will remain successful. They need to carefully balance the goal of being a tech visionary but also making sure the Wi-Fi is always on and running as it should be.
VMware’s CIO, Bask Lyer stated that be believes that CIO’s should advocate producing early wins, setting specific goals with sensible timelines, and delivering on those goals whether the CIO plans to be at a company for the long term or expect to move on after having passed the typical four-year mark. One step is not more important than another, but a CIO need to start with building trust in his or her team first. There is always something more and new to learn and coming in only to revolutionise the natural order of things before understanding how a company’s DNA and what makes them tick, could prove fatal.
The successful CIO need to take adequate time to understand the IT team, what inspires them and think strategically about staffing changes. Gaps in the team need to be filled with remaining staff to be mentored and coached toward transformation.
Trust in one’s team is generally earned by being a good communicator, meeting and talking to colleagues, spending time with them and being authentic.
Clinton Scott, Managing Director at TechSoft International
Collaborate with business leaders and Expand your audience
Aside from reviewing the impact of IT on key enterprise projects and determining how the IT department can best be deployed to support the organisation’s future goals, IT leaders need to go beyond the comfort of engaging with their internal customers alone. In order to realise the full potential of digitisation, they have to expand their audience externally and devote time to addressing the needs of an enterprise’s external customers too. Further, CIO’s must challenge their team’s understanding and assumptions of how well they are supporting business leaders, meeting product and/or service priorities and goals. This will help them better define how to get the most out of digital strategies and enablement.
Prepare your team to cope with change
IT teams are already struggling to keep pace with next-generation technologies and other emerging trends. Added to this are numerous variables, including the outcomes attained from collaborating with business leaders and expanding an audience, that introduce even more change into the processes needed to be undertaken by IT departments.
In this environment, IT leaders must be sure to enable their teams to better map and understand the rapid technological changes that are re-forming their learning spaces. They must instil a culture of learning that embraces change and that can adapt to an ever-changing environment. Change must become a cultural norm and your teams must have the tools to cope with it.
Adopt a data driven strategy and centralise data analytics
As technology and business activities continue to align, and as our ability to collect and mine data continues to grow, it will become increasingly important for IT leaders to double-down on performance metrics.
More and more CIOs are embracing the emerging trend toward moving to a more centralised data analytics approach. Especially in light of the fact that analytics is increasingly performed on a much larger scale, and in real time. IT engineers, data scientists, and individual business units, will have to work together more closely to ensure that business investments are delivering insightful, actionable insights that propel the business forward. Data is the key to unlocking digital success. It is in a CIO’s best interests to make sure his teams are addressing and facilitating its use in business.