CIOs are going to have to change into strategists rather than technical experts to handle the growing role of IT in business, according to a study by Cognizant.
Instead of acting as administrators and problem-solvers, CIOs should position themselves as strategists vis-a-vis the board in order to address technological evolution not only with client facing products, but also company culture.
Two-thirds of survey respondents recognize the central role of the digital transformation and think that the success of their business depend on their capacity to translate the shift in IT into tangible results.
Tech change lead by staff
Only one-third of CIOs responding to the survey said that they were performaning a crucial role in the technological evolution of their company.
To play a more decisive role in the direction of the business, CIOs need to act more as strategists and leaders to reinforce their role. Three out of four CIOs feel that they should be take on a strategic role in the digital transformation of the company.
Building cross-company partnerships and collaboration
To be recognized in their role as leaders in technological change, CIOs should build solid partnerships across the organization, and position themselves as consultants, influencers and a as a center of competence for all questions to do with IT.
Buy-in from management is mentioned as a key success factor by one quarter of CIOs in order to roll out tech change initiatives. CIOs should be implicated in both developing and marketing on every on-going project that has an IT element to it in order to ensure a coherent, realistic and cost-efficient outcome. But the central role of the CIO should be to incite culture change and replace obsolete processes and equipment to ensure future agility.
Recruitment is key
Identifying, hiring and retaining key technology talent should be near the top of the list of priorities for CIOs. A close collaboration with HR teams is critical instead of delegating the task completely. Two-thirds of respondents saw the close collaboration between the CIO and HR as essential in order to recruit the staff with the right skills.
Almost 300 IT managers surveyed
The survey was completed in March 2016. Among the 289 respondents were CIOs as well as similarly placed IT managers in the financial and insurance sectors, manufacturing, and retail in Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Sweden.