CIOs Start To Become Leaders In Their Firms

CIOs need to get ready to be leaders when it comes to big challenges
CIOs need to get ready to be leaders when it comes to big challenges
Image Credit: Rvs1966

The role of the CIO in the company has been an ever evolving position. The people with the CIO job first started out as simply being caretakers for the IT equipment that the company had purchased because of the importance of information technology. This role evolved into more of a strategic partner role for the person in the CIO position who was called on to help the company do a better job of being competitive. Going forward, CIO are now positioned to take a leadership role when it comes to solving some of the biggest challenges that their companies are now facing. Will you be ready to do this?

What Comes Next For The CIO?

If there is one thing that we can say for sure, its that the role of the CIO is going to be changing in the upcoming years. Simply because of the enormous changes in the IT technology that we will all be using, the job of being CIO is also going to have to change. We need to understand that its really the CIO who is in the best position within the company to create the changes that are going to be required to happen. Taking a look around at all of the different departments, the importance of the CIO becomes apparent. The sales teams need help to allow technology to make them more effective. The customer service teams need technology help to do their job quicker and better. Even the company’s programmers need the help of the CIO in order to perform their jobs better.

As we look to the future, we all understand that in many different shapes and forms artificial intelligence will soon be arriving. When that happens, at many firms a number of jobs will be going away. How this happens and who will be impacted is going to be the responsibility of the CIO. The true job of the CIO is to bring economic efficiency to the firm. In the future, the firm that is best able to harness technology is going to be the firm that will dominate their market. A great example of this comes from Walmart and Amazon. Initially Walmart did the best job of streamlining their operations. Then Amazon came along and used technology to better automate their operations. Today Amazon is the dominate firm and this is because it has done a better job of harnessing the power of technology.

Today’s CIOs are getting well positioned to take the next step: becoming the firm’s CEO. If you take a look at the role of the CIO today, their job can be broken into two different roles. The first is one of a maintenance worker. It is their responsibility to make sure that all of the company’s IT systems are both up and running correctly. If they are successful in this role, then nobody will ever think of them. Their next role is to be a visionary for the company. It is their responsibility to look into the future and determine where the company needs to be and how they are going to get there. The goal is to find ways to ensure that the company is going to have an economic advantage over their competitors through the use of technology.

The Power Of Automation

As important as CIOs are to a firm today, they are poised to become even more important as we move into the future. Artificial intelligence is coming and with it will be many different economic impacts. The experts who have been studying such things are reporting that when they take a look at the top 50 job categories, they believe that up to 50% of the jobs in those categories will end up going away after artificial intelligence arrives. What we need to be aware of is that it is going to be the CIO who is going to be driving these types of significant changes. The reason that this is so very important to the company is because the first CIO to implement these types of changes will have provided their company with a significant economic advantage over all of the other firms in their market segment.

The world that we live in is getting ready to undergo some significant changes. What this means is that the robots in addition to artificial intelligence are getting ready to arrive. Robots are not the same thing as artificial intelligence; however, in the world of IT they both play important roles. One of the areas that CIOs are going to have the biggest impact on will be a company’s supply chain. What used to take months to ship will turn into days. More products will be made locally and the products will be more accurate and precise. When you are able to customize a supply chain in order to meet the needs of a specific firm you will be able to reduce that firm’s need to maintain inventory, expend costs, deal with waste, and take back unsold products.

What CIOs need to understand as we move into the future is that all of the change that will be occurring is going to be very disruptive to everyone who is working now. Much of the new technology that is headed our way is going to make firms more productive and by its very nature is going to make jobs go away. When this happens, firms need to understand that they can’t allow people to be left behind. The hope is that the company is going to become so successful because of the application of new technology to its existing processes that it will be able to take care of the people who are being left behind. What CIOs need to realize is that consumers are going to be watching the company and studying how it treats its workers. Consumers, especially the younger consumers, will not tolerate or shop at a firm that are not socially responsible.

What All Of This Means For You

Now is an exciting time to be a CIO. The world is filled with change and what a CIO is called on to do is undergoing massive change. The CIO role has evolved from being a caretaker to now being a forward looking visionary. In order to be successful in what our firms want us to do, we need to have a clear understanding of the changes that are coming our way.

The role of the CIO within the company has changed. CIOs are now the ones that different parts of the company such as sales, customer service, and development come to when they need help in becoming more efficient. CIOs have the responsibility of looking to the future, identifying when there is new technology that will impact the firm, and then using that new technology to make the company more efficient. Amazon was able to leapfrog Walmart by using technology. CIOs have two different responsibilities: they need to keep systems up and running and they need to act as a future visionary for the company. CIOs are going to be the ones who introduce artificial intelligence into the company and they need to do it in the right places at the right time. As robots arrive, the company’s supply chain is going to be dramatically shortened. CIOs will need to make sure that displaced workers are taken care of in order to show that the company is socially responsible.

Nobody ever said that being a CIO was going to be an easy job. Some very disruptive technologies are heading our way and they will be arriving shortly. When artificial intelligence and robots start to show up in the workplace, CIOs are going to be in charge of determining where they need to go. This new technology can make the firm more productive and better positioned in its market; however, at the same time it can have a disruptive effect on the firm’s workers. CIOs are going to have to find a way to balance these significant changes. CIOs who figure out how to do it correctly will have found the way to make their company a success.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Should CIOs start to retrain their workers today in order to get ready for the arrival of artificial intelligence tomorrow?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next

As CIOs, because of the importance of information technology we spend our days surrounded by servers and making decisions about things like firewalls and moving into the cloud. Is workplace diversity something that we really need to trouble ourselves about? It turns out that creating a diverse workforce can be a critical part of any IT department’s success and so, yes, this is something that a CIO needs to spend time on. The trick is to make your workplace diverse and then keep it that way. This is not an easy thing to accomplish.


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