What will the average CIO of the future look like? He may not even need a technical background. But at the same time, the CIO of the new formation should not only manage the activities of the service entrusted to him. But also be a leader on the board of directors.
The future of the CIO in terms of its importance to the company seems to be rather precarious today. On the one hand, he is able to soar on the wings of a global transformation. Also, helping companies establish a world-class digital businesses. On the other hand, not everyone will be able to cope with this heavy burden and colossal pressure. And then they may well be replaced by such a CIO who will be able to demonstrate a willingness to lead the implementation of overdue reforms.
What qualities will distinguish the CIO of tomorrow?
Today, a CIO is typically an information technology professional with an IT degree and a strong engineering background. Today’s CIOs are trying to put the legacy of yesterday into the service of the digital business needs of the 21st century.
The CIO who appears tomorrow can have any education. Because here everything depends not so much on the knowledge you already have but on the ability to learn. The key qualities of the CIO of tomorrow are business acumen to ensure the smooth interaction between business and IT, acumen, and responsiveness to help transform a traditional business into a digital one. And influence at the board level. All of the above is inherent not only to specialists with engineering training but also to leaders who have received education in another field.
Outstanding leadership qualities and the ability to influence the situation are what help CIOs climb to the top. You can also attend CIO conferences to learn what are the latest trends in the market and what skills you need to adopt.
How important is technical knowledge and training?
The technical acumen that has always been considered a CIO sine qua non is increasingly coming from partners, vendors, and customers. Some aspects of IT strategy are developed directly by the business; innovation labs, where teams from different functions create collaborative solutions, have emerged at GE Capital in the last couple of years. We also receive best-in-class solutions from our partners.
All IT developments will be underpinned by digital integration with customers and channels. Regardless of the background of the CIO. An organization will always need an IT architecture and engineering capabilities to integrate solutions into a set of business services delivered to the business community.
I think that technical training and experience in this field will be an important advantage. But in general, they are not necessary. There are other ways to acquire the necessary knowledge. If a business already has a solid IT architecture and engineering functions in place. Then, there may not be any requirements for a CIO.
If the CIO is business savvy and is able to communicate with any board member in a language. If they can understand, then there is no reason to doubt that the CIO will be able to become a trusted business partner. The CIO can lay out the guidelines for IT investments and determine how certain things should be done.
The CIO must assume the role of guardian or guardian. So we should not gloss over the activities of IT organizations that are showing up everywhere today. Gone are the days when the IT strategy was developed only by the head of the IT service. Who had to convince the financial and general directors. Today, the CIO must gather information from many different sources and bring up topics discussed by the board of directors. So, that everyone has a complete understanding of what needs to be done.