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There is growing recognition that IT has much more to contribute than keeping your laptop on, and modern CIOs should emphasize innovation rather than (mostly) maintenance of the status quo. To get there, CIOs need to drive digital transformation more proactively, engage across department lines, and put their business acumen to work in sync with company goals. This change elevates IT away from trouble tickets and will be welcomed by C-level peers, employees, customers, and investors as a strategic partner.
“Our IT team is great, but we don’t need them very much,” is not a proclamation of self-sufficiency. It’s actually a warning that a company doesn’t leverage IT enough. Operating departments should be pushing to improve with new technology, using IT’s know-how to ensure success.
The CIO’s foundation for transformation
We consistently see higher employee and customer satisfaction where CIOs focus on improving the user and customer experience (UX and CX). That can mean extending automation to more IT-dependent tasks, from onboarding employees and customers to processing paperwork.
Next, the CIO should be strong as both a businessperson and a technologist. Your C-level peers and IT colleagues see the benefits of a business-oriented, transformation-driving CIO. Other stakeholders, from investors to department heads, will too.
Third, the CIO should help multiple departments scale their primary activities; they’ll grow more efficiently when the CIO is their ally. CIOs need to engage with leaders in both strategy and operations. This may not be comfortable for every CIO, but the “one for all” attitude boosts the importance of the CIO role and of IT itself. The stronger IT’s involvement, the better IT can help constituents achieve their goals.
Last but certainly not least, the CIO can redefine IT’s overall job description. The legacy concept of …