Over the past few months, I’ve responded to a number of interview and webinar requests about the impact of digital technologies on the CIO role and the skills that tomorrow’s transformational CIOs should develop today. I’ve decided to corral my sprawling thoughts into one short Q&A for your convenience and reading pleasure.
To be a digital CIO is to understand that digital is a team sport. It is not something that one executive, no matter how influential, can drive alone. A digital transformation so thoroughly changes the foundations of the company that everybody, including the CEO, CIO, COO, and heads of marketing, supply chain, and HR, all need to drive that transformation together.
Key to this transformation are agile cross-functional teams that come together to develop a new business capability or solve a business problem. The job of the CIO and the rest of the senior management team is to staff and incent these high-performing teams and get out of their way.
How can CIOs position themselves as key members of a digital transformation team?
Every CEO in every company is thinking, "Digital is changing the very foundations of our business, but we've underinvested in IT. We have to act now to invest in new technology. Do I have the right leadership team to guide and capitalize on those investments?" My advice to CIOs is to step in and lead on high value, customer-centric initiatives and avoid saying, “IT is my function and my only responsibility." CEOs need executives who can lead in technology and marketing and operations, and get outside of the bounds of their own organization. The CIOs who work hard to know the business better than anyone else, and can step across functional boundaries to lead, will be the CEO’s most valuable executive.
CIOs who sit on these successful digital transformation teams have a number of career options ahead of them.
They can develop deep expertise in the following areas:
And remember: the key to transformation is adoption. CIOs need to find ways to share accountability with business leaders to ensure that people actually use the technologies they are investing in.
Gartner has positioned Vodafone as a "Leader" in its Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services, Worldwide report 2017, for the fourth consecutive year