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5 ways CIOs can evolve themselves for digital business leadership

As we prepare for the arrival of spring, thoughts may turn to personal fitness goals. For CIOs, it’s also a crucial time for self-improvement as the business reaches the end of one financial year and prepares to step into another.

The role of the CIO is changing fast. Increasing digitization, new technologies, and data volumes present CIOs with a new set of challenges. CIOs must go beyond keeping things running, and look to set the pace of innovation and deliver business value within their organization. While these challenges make the role of the IT department more complex, they also present an opportunity to become more of a key player in organizational success. Here are just five of the ways a CIO can prepare themselves to deliver:

1. Prioritize your own personal development

Take courses to get a deeper understanding of emerging technologies. CIOs are the gatekeepers for introducing new IT to their organization according to Gartner, so make sure you’re on top of what’s out there by setting aside time regularly for learning. Don’t just concentrate on known knowledge gaps; look at complex topics including quantum computing and blockchain.

2. Guard against burnout

Health is a real concern for the modern CIO. Many are under building pressure to deliver results, balance significant risks, and drive change – all at the same time. Put your physical and mental fitness first. That means working on your sleep, eating right, exercising regularly, and looking after your mental health.

3. Provoke interest and spark innovation

CIOs are increasingly required to promote innovation to deliver better business value. By making a commitment to demonstrating new technologies to the wider team and executive committee, you’re allowing them to experience the future first hand. You’ll also be increasing the tech-savviness of the leadership team, which should provoke conversation about the possibilities.

4. Promoting new behaviours

Organizational ‘culture’ is notoriously hard to change. You can, however, choose to focus on introducing one or two new behaviours to your department, and put measures in place to monitor progress. For instance, if you wanted to create more of a culture of innovation, you could model risk-taking or experimentation behaviours.

5. Combat digital fatigue

Digital evangelicals are now few and far between. Generally, organizations no longer need to be convinced of the value of going digital. C-suites now, however, are left grappling with the scale of the changes required to keep pace, which can lead to digital fatigue amongst colleagues. CIOs can take a bold stance on this by honing the focus on achieving digital business success. Keep it simple. Narrow your communication to a single, concrete goal, seen within the overall operating model.

It's not enough to be a digital evangelist. Take your leadership to the next level by promoting a more thorough understanding of the latest architecture.

Simulations and gamified e-learning could hold the key to keeping CIOs market-ready and competitive. That’s where we come in. SimulcationDatacenter, developed in partnership with IBM, enables you to experiment with your datacenter decisions. By replicating the challenges you face on a daily basis, you’ll see real-world architecture come to life, practice your responses, and prove the impact of your role on organizational success.

Experience it for yourself. Register now or get in touch to find out more.


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