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NewsFeb 25, 2020

5 Questions Top CIOs Are Asking

Sarah Bruner

The role of the CIO is always transforming. Technology is a competitive advantage in many industries (or can be), and CIOs are increasingly at the forefront of decision making, digital transformation (in all its forms), and change management. CIOs are ready to step into this expanding role but taking it on alone can be daunting.

That’s why Credera created the Strategic Forum Program. These invitation-only Forums bring together C-level executives from several disciplines to learn from each other in an environment built on deep relationships and shared challenges.

Our CIO Forum connects CIOs from a wide variety of industries to share their experiences and discuss current challenges. During the last 18 months the CIO Forum has tackled a variety of topics from championing change to managing shadow IT.

We’ve listed five thought provoking topics and strategic questions that led to compelling and beneficial discussions.

1. CREATING A CHANGE-RESILIENT CULTURE

Question: How are you as the CIO creating a change-resilient culture and driving successful change communication and implementation strategies across the organization?

In today’s business climate, companies must undergo transformational change in order to grow, stay competitive, and serve the needs of their internal and external customers. Given the pace of change, higher expectations, and technology’s potential to impact the business strategy, the ability to lead large-scale change initiatives is becoming more important than ever for the CIO.  Not only must the change itself be well thought out and add value to the business, but the communication and implementation tactics must be executed well to achieve high impact.

2. DEFINING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Question: What does digital transformation mean at your organization? How are you as the CIO leading digital transformation and how has it impacted the structure of your organization?

In 2018, IDC reports that 40 percent of all technology spending will go toward digital transformations, with enterprises spending in excess of $2 trillion through 2019. Unfortunately, “digital transformation” is a nebulous term that has been watered down due to overuse. It doesn’t really matter if organizational transformation is digital or not, it impacts business from the ground up. Transformation often changes the way an organization is structured to the core. This Credera whitepaper gives some practical tips on how to win with digital.

3. READYING YOUR ORGANIZATION FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & MACHINE LEARNING

Question: Where is the organization on the data science hierarchy of needs and how are can CIOs ready their organizations for true advanced analytics to reap the benefits of machine learning and artificial intelligence?

A recent study shared that 51% of companies interviewed feel like they are early adopters (36%) or sophisticated users (15%) when it comes to machine learning. They are able to reap true business value from the insights derived from the technology and fuel additional projects (e.g., ecommerce recommendation engines, chatbots, and others). However, not all organizations are using these technologies because their data is full of gaps, dirty, and generally unusable for higher level analytics. Monica Rogati’s data science hierarchy of needs sheds light on where to start on the path to advanced analytics.

4. MANAGING SHADOW IT

Question: How does your organization manage shadow IT while striking the balance between giving the business autonomy and protecting the organization from security threats?

As individual accessibility to subscription licenses and applications increases, so does the probability that IT will be unaware of new software entering the company’s ecosystem. Gartner studies found that shadow IT is 30 to 40 percent of IT spending in large enterprises and they also predict that by 2020, “one-third of all successful security attacks on companies will come through shadow IT systems and resources.” Although shadow IT is not always negative, it comes with the potential for high risk.

5. THE CHANGING ROLE OF THE CIO

Question: As the CIO role continues to expand, how are you preparing yourself to be well equipped to lead your department and the organization?

Gartner’s 2018 CIO Agenda report reveals the duties of 84% of CIOs at top-performing digital businesses have dramatically expanded beyond the IT function, with primary responsibilities of innovation and transformation. With technology at the center of business strategy for many organizations, this places the CIO with a more direct impact on revenue and business outcomes. The role of the CIO will continue to grow and evolve with the advent of sweeping digital transformation at many organizations.

what are you thinking about?

Thinking through these topics can help you grow as a CIO. Try analyzing your own organization through these lenses to see how you can drive better results.

Being able to share experiences with peers in a trust-based, non-selling environment without fees or sponsors is the key to the CIO Forum’s success. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to Sarah Bruner at sbruner@credera.com.

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