For many businesses, the IT team spends their time tactically focused on maintaining technology and helping with day-to-day staff needs. In today’s highly digital age, having a strong, strategic IT leader is more important than ever.
If you haven’t worked with a strategic IT leader, often called a Chief Information Officer (CIO), you may be wondering how this could impact your business. Strategic IT leaders have experience aligning IT with business objectives to create revenue-generating opportunities and positive business change. A strategic IT leader possesses a wide range of talents that make them great at what they do, including leadership skills, interpersonal skills and the ability to inspire innovative ideas.
Why A Strategic IT Leader Is Critical For Your Business
Effective IT leadership is crucial in every business, regardless of industry. A strategic IT leader will have a clear understanding of the business and how IT can enable and drive outcomes by fostering relationships between IT and business stakeholders and creating a culture of enterprise-wide collaboration. Read on to learn why a strategic IT leader is critical for every business.
1. Strategic IT Leaders Can Help Organizations Achieve Business-IT Alignment
Business-IT alignment is the integration of business objectives and IT operations to drive business outcomes, improve agility, reduce costs and increase the return on investment (ROI). CIOs team up with CFOs, CEOs and other department leaders within an organization to develop an IT roadmap that aligns with business goals.
When developing an IT roadmap, CIOs will take several factors into account, such as what the executive team aims to achieve using technology. Other influential factors include the cost to achieve these objectives and the timeframe in which these objectives must be achieved. IT roadmaps typically include plans for 18 to 24 months.
2. Strategic IT Leaders Possess A Unique Knowledgebase
The technology sector is constantly changing and organizations must quickly adapt to stay relevant and competitive. CIOs bring a different perspective about how to maximize the role of IT, offering opportunities to leverage existing and new technology and help reduce security risks. They monitor economic and industry trends and help organizations remain competitive in an ever-changing market.
CIOs play an essential role in IT security. These strategic IT leaders are responsible for initiating discussions regarding IT threats and delivering solutions to help the business prevent a security breach or data loss incident. CIOs also stay on top of trends, such as upticks in phishing attacks, to determine the right offensive and defensive strategies to help protect the business.
3. Strategic IT Leaders Provide Tools To Facilitate Growth
Some executives question if their business is ready for a strategic IT leader. In today’s age, nearly every business can benefit from working with a CIO, even on a part-time or outsourced manner if a full-time role isn’t necessary or affordable. Experienced CIOs provide forward-thinking advice and guidance to help organizations grow by optimizing technology tools and strategies.
Businesses that recognize the value of having a CIO may not have the budget to hire an in-house professional with these advanced qualifications. In addition, there is a high rate of turnover in this role. For these reasons, many organizations choose to outsource critical IT tasks to a strategic business and IT consulting company.
4. Strategic IT Leaders Focus On Delivering Business Value
Many organizations make the costly mistake of putting too much focus on the technology itself rather than on developing an effective IT strategy. CIOs have the experience necessary to meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders by providing a business focused approach to ensure the team is focused on the right outcomes, which also includes strong change management and project leadership.
CIOs are capable of delivering quick results by efficiently evaluating the situation and determining what needs to be accomplished. They can operate in high-pressure environments, helping to deliver real business value and ensure that the right decisions are being made to support the business now and in the future.
5. Strategic IT Leaders Encourage Organization-Wide Communication
Effective communication is an important component of any strategy. The CIO’s role is to foster communication and collaboration across the business, creating a partnership between the business and IT teams. A strong communication strategy helps ensure that information is shared frequently and equally across the organization.
Staying focused on the business’s vision and regularly communicating IT strategies can help inspire teams and solidify their support. A CIO’s ability to form new connections is essential to solving problems in a fast-paced, IT-driven environment.
Speak With Hartman To Identify Your Strategic IT Leader
Having a strong, capable IT leader on your side is more important now than ever before. For more reasons why a business needs a strategic IT leader or to speak with an experienced CIO, reach out to the professionals at Hartman Executive Advisors.