The modern CIO is a digital transformation evangelist

Digital processes are playing a growing role in organizations and digital developments are happening at lightning speed. More and more employees, departments, and directors will have to deal with this digital transformation, directly or indirectly. Because the digital transformation is driven by the possibilities offered by ICT, ICT has long ago stopped being the sole domain of the organization’s Chief Information Officer (CIO).

The CIO ushers in the new digital age

The role of the CIO has changed a lot over the last few years. Starting as the shot-caller who thinks strategically about deploying ICT resources, they’ve grown into a strategic advisor. They chart the organization’s course into the new digital age. This demands a new set of competencies.

It’s a challenge to find the right (interim) Chief Information Officer, or to stay current as a (future) CIO and develop the right competencies.

What to look out for

The most important points are:

  • Which new skills should you expect from the Chief Information Officer?
  • What’s the job of a modern CIO, and which responsibilities are part of that?
  • What should you do if you want to find (or become) a modern Chief Information Officer?
  • What are the benefits of hiring a CIO through Passionned Group?
  • How do you successfully undergo a digital transformation, and how do you show that success?

We’ll get into these points later.

What practical skills should a modern CIO possess?

The skills of a CIO are shifting to soft factors like co-operation and taking the lead in complex change processes. What are the most important factors?

  • Firstly, the CIO obviously has to be able to work with everyone in the organization. Digital transformation is also the responsibility of the CxOs. For example, the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).
  • They have to be able to simplify the complex digital transformation and visualize and communicate this new reality (storytelling).
  • A CIO carries a long legacy. They have to be able to “silently” dismantle old environments and incorporate new technologies in the existing ICT landscape.
  • They have to be able to create alliances with all stakeholders.
  • But they especially have to be able to steer the organization and lead it into the new digital reality, driven by (big) data.

Developing as a (future) Chief Information Officer?

Digital developments are accelerating and demand different competencies and experiences of a modern Chief Information Officer (CIO). Reading trade literature is a must to stay current and up-to-date. That doesn’t just go for ICT, but certainly also when it comes to strategic business developments and (new) business models. Consider how quickly Airbnb achieved success, for example. These business models rise or fall with the smart use of (large volumes of) data.

Taking steps in modern IT

If you want to take steps in the area of change management or Business Intelligence, Passionned Academy offers a selection of modern, relevant training courses (also available as in-company training). These trainings vary from short courses and masterclasses to the 10-day Master of Data Science training course. These training courses are directly applicable to everyday practice. Passionned Group also offers personal coaching and organizational advice. All to help (up-and-coming) CIOs to better fulfill their (future) role.

The digital transformation

Data and digital innovation go hand-in-hand. The modern Chief Information Officer has to be able to understand all the developments in the world of data and be able to implement them. Don’t just think about developments in the field of Big Data, but also when it comes to data security and all the aspects of privacy that come with it.

Where change used to come and go in waves, it’s now a constant factor. That caused the rise of new change methods like continuous improvement, agile working, customer-focused business, and Lean.

Do you want to hire a modern Chief Information Officer?

ICT management can be hired anywhere, but Passionned Group only works with highly experienced CIOs who have experienced the difficulty of change in practice. Our unique formula enables us to introduce you to the right candidates quickly. After making a decision, your chosen candidate can usually get started in your organization quickly. If you want to know more about us and how we work, contact us.

What are the benefits of a Passionned CIO?

Our interim managers all have a wide range of experience in ICT and digital transformations. A unique characteristic of our managers is that they focus on measurable and implementable changes, and not on fairy tales that aren’t practically implementable. Passionned Group doesn’t just offer highly experienced (interim) managers, but we also offer a wide range of training courses and an extensive knowledge base that’s available to your organization and the interim CIO. They also have a background in performance management.

A digital platform that works for the entire organization

ICT is no longer just a few internal software packages that operate in their own data center. These days, digital products come and go, and they have to work together seamlessly. Customer demands change quickly and it has to be possible to quickly replace components from the digital platform.

Data and information especially have become assets of a digital organization. It’s not just about data storage, but using data intelligently by using smart algorithms. The data stream between customers and the company are, and remain, the constant key to success. The trick is to organize data streams in an organization such that you can increase your revenue while lowering your costs.

CIOs shouldn’t just be aware of trends, but also have an answer to them. The overarching trend is, of course, the digital transformation, but this trend is accelerated by others, too:

  • Democratization of IT: IT is available to everyone now, and for free. Back in the day everyone wanted to use their own hardware, now it’s becoming easier to buy software and connect it together.
  • The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT): with an ever-increasing amount of sensors producing data out in the world, it’s becoming more important to use this data smartly.
  • Analytics and algorithms are key: the abundance of data and the increasing speed it has to be reacted to makes quick storage and (especially) interpretation the key to success.
  • Data ethics and security: it’s becoming more important to know what organizations can (and especially can’t) do with their data. Who really owns the data? How to guard against illicit use of said data? Rules and regulations around data are becoming stricter.
  • Information belongs to everyone: the processing, interpretation, and distribution of data is no longer the sole domain of one department in Finance or IT. Everyone in the organization works with it and has to be able to access it in real time.

Of course, this is just a sampling of relevant trends. Developments in the fields of mobile, augmented reality (AR), cloud, and apps will also play into your world as a modern Chief Information Officer. Our advice is to examine the trends every three months to evaluate what you want to do with them as an organization.

Opening for a Chief Information Officer

Passionned Group is regularly recruiting experienced CIOs for its clients. Are you such a candidate, and do you have experience with digital transformations? Then we’d love to invite you for a meeting. Leave us your contact information and we’ll contact you as soon as we can.

Any questions?

If this article has raised any questions and you want to talk to us about these subjects, feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

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Dick Pouw, CIO & Associate Partner

DICK POUW MBA

CIO & Associate Partner

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