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Transformational leadership

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Transformational leadership

In today’s data economy, in which software and analytics have emerged as the key drivers of business, CEOs must rethink the silos and hierarchies that fueled the businesses of the past. They can no longer have “technology people” who work independently from “data people” who work independently from “sales” people or from “finance.” Instead, they must helm organizations in which each employee embraces data and technology as integral to what they do.

Digitization is about automating your current business, and it requires tremendous leadership, especially in business process standardization. But digital transformation, when you leverage software to change your business model, requires a whole new level of transformational leadership.

This digital transformation required a complete overhaul not only in technology, but also in sales, operations, finance, and customer service. While leading cross-functionally across the enterprise, pull the company’s top decision makers into leadership action teams, whose sole responsibility is to remove impediments.

The role of the CIO is to go forward and architect the future version of the business.

CIOs have a holistic enterprise vantage point to influence the design of not only the platform, but also the organizational, business, and process models. Good CIOs transform IT from inside, but great CIOs use design thinking and inclusivity to transform IT by changing what happens outside of IT.

Transformation in the data economy requires leadership at every level: business model, organizational design, culture, IT delivery model, and architecture. CIOs must get out of the role of “delivering IT to the business” and into the role of redesigning their businesses so that we are all part technologist, data scientist, and business leader.

What are the roles of a CIO?
Vendor Management
Vendor management used to be all about contract negotiation, ensuring SLAs, and driving costs down. The business model is evolving to the point where they can no longer rely on their traditional vendors for their technology roadmap. These companies need their CIOs to make smart bets on new vendors that provide a niche solution for the business they are becoming. Vendor management involves a venture capitalist’s eye on the emerging technology market.

Information security
The language of the board is finance, however; having the technical expertise to talk to the board about your risk profile and security investments is important when clearly articulating the reasons behind security investments.

Technical depth
Understanding the advantages of one architecture over another and having the ability to dive deep on technology when you need to while having an acute knowledge of the provider marketplace.

Data is the new currency of our businesses. While I want to know about data lakes and AI engines, what our clients need is a leader who, yes, can implement the tools, but can they also work with business partners to change behaviors to create a data-driven business.

What frameworks do you employ to educate the executive committee on the true cost of legacy technologies and the value of increased investment? How are you ensuring a tight feedback loop from your business partners back to IT? How are you — in collaboration with your colleagues — driving digital literacy throughout your company?

Business partnership
The strongest answers to the business partnership describe an IT organizational re-design that balances enterprise services with leaders dedicated to a business unit or function, and a CIO who pre-sells the new structure to ensure the success of those new relationships, rather than letting the org chart do all the work.

Transparency is a collaborative process whereby you turn your user community from IT consumers into co-investors. It’s creating an investment management culture that drives more decisions to the part of the business where the return on those investments is realized.

Project Management

Team Development

Strategic thinking

Business Accumen