Digital transformation is obviously the buzz trend of our era. It demands an essential evolution of core business technologies and operations in order to meet customer’s demands and create a viable advantage.
Here comes the role of the Chief information officers (CIOs). Their responsibility is to bridge the gap between business and technology, and respond to both employees and customers requirements simultaneously. This might sound easy, but it actually hides many challenges.

Working Tirelessly
The success of a business requires input from the entire team. A digital transformation project includes Marketing, B2B sales, IT and Technology, in addition to Operations and Property. CIOs need to understand that they cannot do anything by themselves. They just have to stick to a plan. Collaboration and simplicity are vital ingredients for digital transformation, according to Gareth Jones, Deputy CEO and retail and strategy director at Shop Direct.

Cultural Change
Another major challenge for the CIOs is getting the organisation to understand that technology adoption can change the way a business operates. ‘Mobility and Cloud computing have enabled organisations to be more productive. So, by focusing on the customer’s requirement, CIOs get closer to the customer and create different strategies’, according to Charlie Sukkar, former CIO & CTIO at CSR. Moreover, some changes have to be done in operations, as coming up with new technologies is not enough. Otherwise, the transformation project will fail to deliver the estimated outcome.
Being open to ideas
It is no secret that sometimes as a CIO you need to move things to the next stage. In other words, be more comfortable in moving forward with decisions that might not be perfect. Of course, ‘there must be a balance between ambition and spend and getting to the market’, says Fiona Low, Global head of digital marketing at Shell.
It is important that the client feels compelled to the built solutions and technologies by the CIOs. Furthermore, CIOs need to redefine the traditional transaction between a supplier and a customer, and how consumerism era has influenced technology.
Business Outcomes
Business innovation can be achieved by reviewing or scrutinising the business outcome. This is fundamentally about the business not the technology. The most common problem that technology faces is that CIOs push the technology angle instead of focusing on the business outcome, organic growth, sidings to the bottom line and innovation. According to a global BT research among the CIOs, 65 per cent responded that their current infrastructure is facing difficulties to support the rapid adoption of digital technologies.

Building Strong Relationships
CIOs and their team have to be fully prepared ‘to keep pace with the ever-evolving nature of digital technology’. This will also create a stronger partnership between IT and the business. Both departments need to be in harmony in order to achieve a ‘digital strategy that have a transformative implication’ on the overall organisation, says John Jackson is CIO at Camden Council and Digital Strategy Lead.
In addition, it is important to demonstrate that the traditional IT department can act swiftly and rebuild themselves particularly in the digital era. They need to move at a scale and levels that we have never seen or witnessed before. So, the key element is to build a strong and authentic relationship with the CIOs along with the business protocol across the board.
CIOs Challenges CIOs Tips
1.Working too much by yourself 1.Team Effort
2.Criticism and feedback 2. Being Open-minded
3.Focus mainly on Technology 3.Focus on Business Outcomes and Growth
4.CIOs & IT weak relationship 4.Authentic and strong relationship between digital technology & business

The CIOs challenges and tips

By Katerina Tiliakou

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