How Successful CIOs will Ride the Waves of Speed and Change

Speed. Change.

The two are colliding. Merging, and conspiring to take us all on a fantastic ride with unexpected shifts, views, and turns. For those on the crest of the wave, it’s a fun and exhilarating ride with new adventures, new possibilities, and unprecedented highs.

For others at the base of the wave, it feels like they are drowning under the surge of a relentless tsunami (and the truth is that many of them are). The analogy is apt for both organizations and individual roles within those organizations.

While this narrative applies to multiple roles, the story of the CIO is a fascinating one to explore.

The CIO finds himself or herself as a supporting actor in a story where the modern day corporation is under increasing pressure to perform. The rapid assault of technology is creating an environment of increased competitive pressure.

In the e-book “Redefining the CIO: Envisioning and Enabling the Next Generation Enterprise” we explore the effects of these changes on the future of the organization. In our accompanying webinar and in the e-book, I consider questions such as:

  • How important is technology to the strategy of the organization?
  • How will the advancement of technology play out over the coming decade?
  • What is the correlation between tech advancement and increasing competitive pressure?

“Massive shifts of monetary assets, corporate valuations, and human capital are cascading violently across networks with decreasing regard for traditional industrial, geopolitical, or other previously defined market or time and space boundaries.”

Over the past decade, we’ve seen technology advancements rise rapidly on the agenda of the CEO. Because of this, CEOs realize that they need to retool their organizations to compete in a more connected, fluid, and volatile marketplace. The challenge is that CEOs aren’t quite sure that they have the right folks on board to help them make the necessary changes to thrive well in the next generation marketplace. In fact, only 35% of CEOs feel like their IT function is ready for the pending and necessary transformative changes.

  • Why don’t CEOs have confidence in their current IT leadership?
  • How can CIOs partner with CEOs to help drive necessary transformation, not just to help keep their organizations competitive, but to capitalize on emerging opportunities?

As the world becomes more connected through wearables, embeddables, and the Internet of Things, possibilities and complexity increase. Nearly everything is being, or soon will be, reimagined. Mary Meeker, Venture Capitalist of Silicon-Valley-based Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, calls this the “reimagining of everything.”

  • Why did Facebook pay over $20 billion for a startup with just 55 employees, and why does this matter to today’s enterprise?
  • What can we learn from what Netflix did to Blockbuster and what it’s currently doing to cable companies?
  • What can we learn from Tesla and its impact on the automobile industry?
  • Where are early seeds of innovation being sewn and how can we leverage and/or defend ourselves from their impact?

As upheaval descends on nearly every industry, the opportunity is ripe for those who have a deep understanding of emerging technologies and how they can be leveraged to help create, augment, and accelerate new value creation models.

CIOs are at a crossroads. They can continue to manage IT infrastructure, drive new incremental innovation programs, and be the managers of a cost center with a declining budget. Or they can help their organizations create new strategies to grow in a significantly different, ubiquitously networked world.

Making the leap will require adaptation, the addition of new skills, and a reframing of what the CIO role actually means.

  • Why is the role of the CIO simultaneously becoming more important and more challenging?
  • Why do most CIOs believe that the digital torrent is coming faster than they can handle, and what they should do about it?
  • Why do some CIOs earn 37% more in compensation annually than their peers?

Organizations in every industry are likely facing a more complex and unpredictable future than they have faced at any time in their history.  Often, the CIO has a unique perspective to understand the trajectory and impact of coming technological changes. Leveraging or learning to envision and articulate the impact of these new technologies towards the creation of new models and strategies will help propel next generation organizations, and the CIOs who empower them, towards their next chapter of growth.  For most CIOs, however, a successful journey into an unprecedented future will require a broadening of skill sets, capabilities, and investments.

Please join me on this journey as we explore these critical topics and more. Watch the on-demand webcast from our recent webinar, where we discussed these issues with two CIOs who are in the midst of living these realities.

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