Growing CIO Influence Can and Should Drive Digital Transformation

Learn how a CIO today can become a key influencer by working closely with key business units to innovate and drive transformative change in technology.

The CIO’s role is evolving rapidly, largely in keeping with the swiftly changing technologies that are remaking businesses around the world.

As the role changes, the CIO is playing a greater role within corporate leadership. More CIOs are reporting to higher-level executives, being given a seat at the table when key decisions are being made and influencing strategy in new ways.

What Does CIO Consulting in the C-Suite Look Like?

To achieve digital transformation today, technology is playing a more crucial role. Technical innovation is driving the products and services offered, how business processes are completed and how workers are deployed.

That means CIOs are in a very different position than just a few years ago. Instead of being viewed as those who merely keep the systems running and installing updated software, CIOs are increasingly recognized for the insights they provide.

In many cases, CIO consulting is the new norm in the c-suite. CIOs are leveraging their expertise to help leaders make smart decisions about business models, objectives, goals and operationalization.

How Does Strategic CIO Consulting Play Out?

CIO consulting can take on many forms. Here are some of the approaches CIOs should use from the outset to position themselves:

  • Focus on Customer-Facing Work. CIOs can help themselves by understanding the customer-focused areas of the organization, especially sales and marketing. Understanding what salespeople and customers are talking about, their challenges, sales analytics, marketing strategies and metrics, and how technology is used provides valuable insights not to mention a better understanding of how key areas operate.
  • Mark and Sell Customer-Impacting Solutions. All too often, today’s CIOs grew up in a business- and systems-driven IT environment. Digital transformation means that the approach needs to change. CIOs help their case when they deploy product management teams to innovate, create and present solutions and related business cases. Even in smaller organizations, the CIO can use customer data, competitor information and market research to present a strong case for new investments in technology.
  • Find Agile Leaders and Collaborators. Business unit leadership sometimes resists technical change that could disrupt power structures or control. However, it’s likely there are other leaders in the organization who take an agile approach to use automation and other new technologies to improve business processes and outcomes. The smart CIO seeks out these colleagues who can collaborate, listen, drive change and take feedback.
  • Modernize Teams. Start with a technology assessment to gain a clear understanding of what systems are in place, how many of those are legacy systems and how much of the IT budget is being spent on legacy maintenance. Use that information as the impetus to recommend new team approaches to work, reduced waste and better efficiency. Determine which systems and data should be stored on company premises, in the cloud or a hybrid solution. Then reorganize workflows so that newly formed teams are better able to collaborate and work smarter.
  • Centralize Data, Programs and Projects. CIOs that see the value of integration, transparency and collaboration are better able to influence change. Using as few systems, systems that are integrated and a single source of data helps with resource management, business outcomes and provide better business intelligence in real-time.
  • Develop Actionable Insights. There is more data available for CIOs and other leaders than ever before. Harnessing that data means using tools like enterprise resource planning platforms, cloud technologies, and integrated customer relations management software to create a unified source of information. By emphasizing solutions that allow everyone to access the same data across the company, the CIO provides real-time insights and analytics.
  • Make Decisions Based on Data. CIOs who can contribute to business growth position themselves as influencers across the organization. Help justify the spend with data on how an investment will affect business processes, how work is done and business outcomes. Boost customer experiences with tools and processes that improve satisfaction rates and have a clearly defined ROI. Finally, look at manual processes that could be replaced with modern automation, AI, scanning and machine learning tech.

Is your business looking to optimize its technology, drive business growth and outpace your competition? Turn to the IT experts at CIO Advise, with the expertise to help organizations of any size, in any industry, drive digital transformation. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today at cioadvise.com.