Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 4 - Page 52

CIO OPINION The changing role According to Gartner’s latest CIO Agenda Survey, 95% of CIOs expect their jobs to be significantly reshaped due to digital transformation. We have, therefore, witnessed a significant increase in technology spending being liberated from the CIO’s grasp and allocated to that of other business units. No longer is the CIO the technology-facing executive of the past. Today’s CIO is more closely aligned with broader company- wide objectives than ever before. Their role has shifted from the ‘manufacturer’ of IT systems to the ‘enabler’ of business transformation, with success no longer measured by the effective construction and deployment of such systems, but instead by the tangible outcomes that these integrated technologies can deliver to a business. “ TWO-THIRDS OF ALL BUSINESS LEADERS CLAIM THAT KEEPING PACE WITH DIGITISATION IS A PREREQUISITE FOR SUCCESS IN TODAY’S ECONOMY. and the right plan to ensure all systems are able to meet a variety of business needs. Embracing the new role On one hand, it remains the case that a CIO must have a deep understanding of their business and its strategy for growth; meaning they must have a strategic vision 52 INTELLIGENTCIO On the other hand, tomorrow’s CIOs will need to surpass what were deemed to be the traditional demands associated with their role. The expectation is that they should possess the traits typical of business leaders, i.e. confidence, flexibility, curiosity, trustworthiness, respect, sensitivity and self-awareness. Above all, they must break free of their comfort zones and push the boundaries of the role. With new business models, companies and entire economies being cultivated today, seemingly at the drop of a hat, adopting an open-minded approach is vital for the IT function to not only be relevant, but essential for organisations across industries. There has never been a better time for our IT leaders to welcome and benefit from change. Although risk is consistently a key determinant in business decisions, innovation has long been a key determinant of success. CIOs are uniquely positioned to rebrand themselves as individuals – and the role itself – to become nurturers of innovation and brokers of these technologies to meet evolving organisational demands. Delivering value Cruci ally, incumbents of the role must quickly learn to use their new-found freedom to best