Five Tips from Game Changing CIOs
Almost like clockwork, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has pundits heralding the death of some aspect of the workplace experience – traditional office spaces, work-life balance, face-to-face communication, etc. Luckily, the doom and gloom rarely reflects reality. If there has been any casualty, however, it’s the traditional executive job description. New waves of technology innovation are upending how business gets done, and the c-suite is finding new opportunities to steer the ship toward success.
Few roles are experiencing this like the CIO. Historically serving in the support function, IT leaders are embracing a new mandate as strategic driver of growth. In fact, Fuze’s survey of IT professionals revealed that in today’s digital economy, 80 percent of CIOs believe that IT’s ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business. Yet, not all are able to deliver. Of the same group polled, 58 percent also said that they cannot focus on innovation due to other pressures such as maintenance or organizational cost reduction. There’s a push-and-pull that can be difficult to navigate, particularly as wider digital transformation efforts command their attention.
Over the course of the last several months, Fuze has sat down with a number of IT Game Changers, leading CIOs who are taking a cloud-first approach to workplace transformation and who are giving their teams the tools needed to succeed in a digital economy. These conversations yielded a few tips, which we think can help guide the modern CIO’s mission to empower their organization. Here’s what they had to say:
- Make every moment a teaching moment. Employees are diverse, their preferences and technology comfort levels have never been more scattered. As workplace tools impact the day-to-day experience, IT can take on the role of educator as they bring staff into the future of work.
- Don’t dictate productivity, empower it. When it comes to productivity, there’s a fine line CIOs need to walk. More often than not, success is found when you take a diverse approach to platforms, tools, and schedules. Whether it be voice, video, or messaging; five days in the office, a completely remote schedule, or somewhere in between, work with employees so they can take ownership of their productivity.
- Don’t underestimate the power of cloud flexibility. According to Fuze’s Breaking Barriers 2020, 75 percent of the App Generation want to use the latest tech at work. As tools evolve, the key to rapid implementation and adoption is a cloud infrastructure as opposed to legacy systems with month-long deployments. Embracing the latest solutions is a powerful way to attract the next generation of talent.
- Carve out time for innovation. It’s easy for modern CIOs to feel like they’re treading water, running systems administration, triaging user problems and fielding executive demands. That said, mindset is half the battle. Prioritize every opportunity to speak with colleagues and ask, “what challenges are you facing? How can I help?” Being a Game Changer means embodying collaboration that can drive real business results.
- Abandon the checklist, embrace fluidity. Digital transformation, much like the workplace itself, is constantly evolving. CIOs cannot afford to look at it from a perspective of boxes to check. Workforces and the technology that power them change at a remarkable pace. Be ready to adjust to the latest demands of the business on the fly.
CIOs and their counterparts are experiencing unprecedented transformation in the workplace. Attitudes toward what work is (and can be) are shifting, in turn creating new opportunities to empower and engage workforces. Game Changers are meeting and exceeding employee expectations, setting the stage for success for the future of work.