9 Chief Information Officer Roles In Digital Transformation

New Responsibilities For The Modern CIO

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Steven Lerner

chief information officer roles

Traditionally, the chief information officer (CIO) is the senior executive who supervises just the information technology department. However, times are changing, and CIOs are being asked to do more. In order for an organization to meet enterprise-wide goals and realize the true potential of digital transformation, there are new duties that the CIO will have.

Here are nine modern examples of chief information officer roles and responsibilities:

1. Requester Of Executive Sponsorship

The right CIO has the vision and knowledge to flawlessly execute a digital transformation. However, one of the biggest obstacles is usually C-Suite. Therefore, before any new project or IT task is started, it is up to the CIO to get a buy-in from the C-Suite. Requesting executive sponsorship should be the first objective of a CIO for all digital transformation initiatives. A buy-in from the executive team ensures that all of the organization’s objectives are aligned with IT. Never underestimate the power of a shared team goal.

2. Analyst Of Enterprise Complexities And Goals

While a CIO requests executive sponsorship, it is imperative to conduct a full analysis about the objectives of the enterprise and potential complications unique to that business. After all, IT projects will require different resources depending on the legacy technology that is still being leveraged. CIOs must determine a clear business outcome that can be championed across the enterprise.

3. Provider Of A Superior User Experience

In the end, digital transformation initiatives can’t just be about saving the company money. One of the primary objectives should be to improve the user experience (UX). In many ways, the user experience is the foundation for a successful digital transformation, and the CIO plays the most critical role in this process. At all times, the CIO must consider the impact of new technologies on the user — which includes a company’s internal users (its employees). As the old saying goes, a happy employee will result in a happy customer.

4. Agent Of Change

The most effective CIOs become change agents who transform the enterprise by focusing on productivity, efficiency, and development. During a digital transformation, there is likely to be some degree of pushback and resistance within the organization. Even within the IT department, there will be employees who may feel agitated to the new changes with data integration or the development of new technologies. It is up to the CIO to be the ultimate agent of change by finding defined roles for everyone involved, and keeping all workers informed during the transformation.

5. Leader Of All Digital Transformation Activity

One of the most critical chief information officer roles in the enterprises today is to take the lead behind all digital transformation plans. It’s no longer acceptable to only focus on the IT side of the transformation, but rather the overall business impact of the new technologies. Even if the C-Suite neglects IT or the CIO in decision-making for digital transformation, the CIO must find a way to the lead for all projects.

6. Director Of Modernization

In order to stay competitive, an enterprise must modernize its workforce and leverage next-generation technology. The CIO must ensure that modernization is a priority by adopted artificial intelligence, augmented reality, cloud computing, and other solutions. The process of modernization includes getting organizational support and developing a road map for the new technologies. By following this path, an enterprise will be seen as an innovator in its industry.

7. Tracker Of Success And Failures

Failures will occur in digital transformation, but organizations that are able to undergo a successful digital transformation recognize those failures early in the process and adapt to correct them. The CIO should play an integral part in ensuring that there is visibility into the success or failure of an initiative, and provide proof of that. Those insights will be used to make changes so that success can be achieved.

8. Champion Of Automation

Transitioning an organization from manual-based processes to automation is one of the key chief information officer roles today. There are still some companies that rely on paper-based processes in some (or all) business aspects. It is up to the CIO to make sure that automation is utilized to improve efficiency and productivity. Whether it is through creating custom scripts for automated tasks, or leveraging robotic process automation (RPA), the CIO has to take the lead in this.

9. Superintendent Of Successful Scaling

Finally, when a digital transformation initiative is producing valuable results, the CIO must lead the way to promptly scale and deploy. This includes updating any aspect in order to improve the ROI. During times of digital transformation, it is important to continuously iterate, and the CIO be able to guide the organization through this process.