What it Takes for CIOs to Transform into a Business Leader

There are some key traits that CIOs must cultivate so they can climb up the ladder and take on the role of a business leader

Gone are the times when a Chief Information Officer (CIO) was responsible only for securing the IT assets or maintaining the security posture of his/her organization. With evolution of technology, the roles and responsibilities of a CIO are also evolving. Now a CIO must be a business leader with exceptional business acumen.

Add to the Revenues

Greater business responsibilities mean CIOs must now also contribute to the revenue generation for their organizations. A survey conducted by KPMG and Harvey Nash has revealed that CIOs are now expected to focus on revenue generation rather than just on ways to save money. This means CIOs now have the twin responsibility of enhancing productivity of the organization’s IT assets as well as prudently using technological advancements to better engage with customers—with an objective of fostering innovation and creating business solutions that add to the revenues. CIOs are therefore tasked with the responsibility of guiding the IT department to evolve into a center of innovation-backed digital transformation.

However, a Deloitte survey reports that currently 55% of the CIOs focus on operational and execution responsibilities. They are, therefore, left with no time for business-oriented strategic activities. But, the solace is that most CIOs are open to honing their leadership skills in order to climb up to the next rung of the career ladder.

Build Competencies

The three key competencies considered important in a CIO’s transition to a business leader include operational stewardship, IT leadership, and entrepreneurship. CIOs on course to taking up the role of a business leader must therefore work on the following traits—in no particular order—to succeed in their new role:

  • Business acumen: Proficient in executing digital business strategy.
  • Seize opportunities: Ability to convert problems into business opportunities.
  • Explore innovative Ideas: Ability to embrace innovation and openness for innovative models to fuel business growth.
  • Assume responsibility: Be open to any responsibility and assume complete ownership.
  • Problem-solver: A transitioning CIO must be able to respect differing viewpoints and establish accord in chaos.

The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant

She can be reached here.

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