Rise of the rockstar CIO: using transparency to drive transformation

Over the last few years, CIOs have taken centre stage, with their advice and expertise steering companies’ digital transformation journeys. The pandemic pushed technology and IT to the forefront of business operations, making the CIO indispensable. Almost three-quarters (74%) of CIOs agree that their role was elevated because of the pandemic and 78% of line of business (LOB) respondents agree.

Now that companies have adapted to the pandemic’s acceleration of digitalization, settling into new business models and ways of working, organizations have moved into a governance phase. Operational excellence is now the priority for IT leaders as they work to ensure that digital investments made throughout the pandemic deliver on expected business outcomes for the future.

What is the CIO’s secret to stardom?

Transparency has CIOs soaring to the top by enabling them to gain buy-in from the board and the rest of the leadership team when sharing their vision and proposing business changes. This gives the CIO a clear line of authority and the agility needed to drive a direct steering model supported by accurate understandings of cost, value and optimization potential.

Investment decisions made on this foundation deliver substantial returns for the business, further ensconcing their ‘rockstar’ status. With this reputation, they are given increasing latitude and authority, enabling them to shift costs and save in a way that best matches their goals for the company.

How do CIOs maximize transparency?

IT Financial Management (ITFM) solutions are key to this formula – they provide CIOs and businesses with the transparency needed to push forward accurate and growth-promoting decision-making. The business landscape is rapidly changing and, like a rockstar may rebrand to keep apace with changing times, the CIO needs to be able to adapt quickly to ensure that shifting consumer demands are being met.

With rising costs and fewer resources, businesses are reviewing IT investments and looking for opportunities to lower their IT spend without impacting client experience. Prioritizing ITFM spending enables business leaders to gain accurate insights into their tech budgets and projected expenses.

Using this information, the CIO can invest in the right technologies that will support emerging businesses needs and protect the company’s competitive advantage. ITFM plays an undoubtable role in delivering transparency – so much so that Gartner predicts that by 2024, 70% of CIOs will have a dedicated ITFM system or tool to help clarify and analyze total IT spend.

The biggest CIO challenge: innovation versus efficiency

While IT undoubtedly drives innovation, which in turn promotes growth and uncovers business opportunities, it is also a significant investment during a time when businesses and their CIOs are facing mounting cost pressures. This is where ITFM’s investment insights can lend a helping hand.

However, there are also other IT investment opportunities that a leading CIO should consider. Just like a rockstar, CIOs must balance their own creative fulfilment with appeasing their fan base. The successful CIO must find the right balance between innovation and ensuring its bottom line.

This balance is achieved by seeking out technologies that promote innovation and cost savings. For example, Cloud, if used effectively, fills this purpose. Although many financial institutions already use cloud-based software for processes like CRM, HR and financial accounting, the opportunity for cloud within core activities, such as consumer payments, credit scoring, statements and billing is endless and underutilized.

However, it is expected that there will be a significant increase in the number of organizations adopting cloud to promote innovation, with global spending on public cloud services expected to come close to $500 billion this year alone.

Unleashing the power of the CIO

Now more than ever, CIOs have responsibility and accountability to their organizations. As their businesses undergo digitalization, corporate leaders are realizing the tremendous asset that technology expertise has become. IT is no longer solely seen within the capacity of maintenance and support, but rather for the value-adding engine it has become.

At the same time, tech spend often takes up a significant portion of a company’s expenditure despite leaders having minimal visibility over how their IT links to business strategy and return on investment. The ‘rockstar’ CIO, however, is using ITFM solutions to peer into this figurative black box, allowing them to better manage the costs, quality and value of tech services utilized across the organization. They then combine their own expertise with ITFM insights to promote the business’s future success.



Written by Serviceware

Sharing expertise on excellent Enterprise Service Management.

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