- As IT moves from a back office cost center, CIOs are becoming "trusted business partners" and delivering IT strategy that aligns with and moves the larger business strategy forward, according to a Grant Thornton, LLP and TBM Council survey of senior-level IT leaders.
- Technical leaders are faced with many challenges elevating teams in the business, including different understanding of what metrics define IT success. Business measures prioritize cost reductions, successful executions and improvements in project and service delivery, according to the report. But CIO's think success should be measured by execution, improved innovation abilities and more involvement in strategic discussions.
- CIOs identified conflicting stakeholder priorities and talent recruitment and retention as the greatest challenges to running IT, as well as aligning IT and business goals, communicating IT spend's value and change-averse stakeholders. CIOs need to better communicate IT value and build trust through security and risk management, efficiency and data management, the report said.
Technology strategy is business strategy, but it takes an effective CIO or other technical executive to ensure IT plays a more active role in establishing an organization's path.
Many IT departments say they feel undervalued and are only contacted when something goes wrong. When success is often defined by the absence of a problem, it can be difficult overcoming the back office perception.
Cloud, data, analytics and AI are setting the foundation for how the modern enterprise operates, but the business side has to buy in to elevate the technology stack to the forefront of an organization.
Heeding the demands of innovation and a digital economy, many companies that sit outside the traditional view of technology — from ShakeShack and Pier 1 to Kroger and Nieman Marcus — are investing in technical leadership and teams.
As the CIO role gains prominence across organizations, its demands also grow more complex. CIOs are tasked primarily with turning IT into a profit center, driving customer value, improving agility, setting culture and establishing comprehensive security and privacy systems.