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It’s an understatement if you are to say that the role of chief information officer or CIO becomes a lot more complicated as well as challenging these days. Everything within the business space is indeed changing and at a mind-boggling speed. There are a huge amount of changes and pressure on the part of CIOs in terms of capitalising on emerging digital innovations while at the same time keeping the IT operations securely and smoothly running.

However, the age of CIOs who believe about controlling their turf is definitely over. Instead, the rise of a new breed of this CIO could now be observed and considered as the disruptive one.

On my part, I have been fortunate to work with a number of them – in fact, I have worked on a number of projects with one named among the top 5 finalists as most disruptive CIO in Australasia during the 2016 Unleashed Competition. Though this CIO didn’t win the competition still working with him I managed to gain a few insights into what it takes to make an Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) team grow from being good to GREAT!

Here are the top five things that I learnt as I worked with a disruptive CIO:

Get out of the way and let the business get their job done.

Technology is indeed created in order to make our daily lives a lot easier.

I have a machine that makes me my coffee in the morning, I have a phone that allows me to send messages while driving, better yet, soon I’ll have driverless transportation that allows me to focus on other tasks while I get to my destination.

Why would we introduce technology into our business that is hard, duplicated and painful to our working day?

Every device or technology has a role in the lives of many. And with this, the foundation of an ICT team is indeed to find, as well as create, opportunities making fellow staff members jobs a lot easier and a lot faster in terms of business processes.

Customer centricity is about putting customers at the heart everything you do.

Customer centricity seems to be the focus of every organisation but often the true meaning of it is forgotten because we are striving hard to streamline our internal processes.

Streamlining an internal process may work well for our employees but does it come at the determent of the customer experience? Do you make time or create deliverables in your projects to identify the ‘value add’ for your customers?

When finding a solution to your business process initiatives make sure that you are looking into the solution from the perspective of the customers and employees as well. This will ensure that your business is always striving to be customer centric.

It’s doesn’t matter if you fail, it does matter that you don’t try.

There’s nothing more disheartening than working within a team where the mantra is ‘We shouldn’t try that, it didn’t work the last time so why would it work now’.

Although that statement may be correct, there may be legitimate reasons behind why it didn’t work. Perhaps the information architecture couldn’t support the solution, the organisation wasn’t ready for the change, or there too many other major changes happening across the organisation. There is indeed a difference between trying and failing and also not trying at all.

But how do you make sure that this will not lead to a major cost in the business?

An ICT’s team must have a strong culture that promotes innovation and ideas. Create an agile team that allows it’s staff to brainstorm solutions, test, fail and test again. Every employee should feel confident and comfortable in terms of making suggestions about business improvements and know that their opinion matters.

Be a Brand Advocate!

I have to put it out there – Technology is cool!

Where would we be without technology. Why would you have someone on your team that doesn’t get excited about changing technology.

Like the die-hard Apple-fanatics that camp out over night for the new iPhone , your team should be excited about technological changes and how they are going to benefit the business (well perhaps not quite that excited!).

When I suggest that you be a brand advocate, I’m not just talking about the organisation that you work for but about being excited about technology and what your team offers to the rest of the business. It is about you, your team and about promoting ICT services across the organisation.

It’s all about sharing of services – collaboration creates success.

You are not required to be good at everything or rather there is no need to do everything. Instead, simply find organisation’s that have skills that you need, that do it better than you and consider working with them.