Intelligent CIO North America Issue 29 | Page 35


Especially in the age of hybrid work , IT leaders shouldn ’ t underestimate the importance of relationship-building and respect – both values that need to be modelled and nurtured . How executive teams and other employees see your department as a resource will determine your value within the organization , and your ability to affect change . Moving mountains to solve problems and treating people well shows you are a trusted partner . If your team is standoffish or restrictive without explanation then others will view you as a liability and your voice will be diminished .

IT is generally perceived as an analytical pursuit . But defining a set of key principles , and building that policy into operations allows people to know where you stand and trust the work you do . Some examples include those developed by Association for Computing Machinery ( ACM ) and Harvard University . But while relationships and trustbuilding are both critical to IT success , there ’ s no avoiding budget and productivity considerations . IT leaders should be able to clearly communicate how their department magnifies the organization ’ s ability to execute as a cost justification .
These are also capability indicators too – the more force amplification , the better the department and its toolset . Every organization that can magnify the impact of their staff through Digital Transformation will see increases in their cadences , improvements in their efficiency or quality execution , or both . Especially with current market instability , a holistic approach to IT can contribute greatly to an organization ’ s success . In practice , this means determining what results are needed and what outcomes are most important to the business , then strategizing and executing on smarter ways to achieve them .
IT managers should regularly evaluate if and where tool consolidation can reduce licensing costs without disrupting the employee experience , or how team members ’ time should be allocated differently as business goals change . Digital Transformation can improve efficiency and productivity , and building agility into the system that allows for benefits from new tools and approaches underscores IT ’ s ongoing contributions to company success .
The primary goal for IT teams should be understanding business needs and priorities for the future . Be prepared to regularly show how your existing model delivers on those needs or how processes be improved ? Evaluate and explain whether redesigning your process is an alternative to getting the same result with savings and what downstreams impacts there might be .

In businesses where I ' ve been CEO , I expect my technology leaders to bring the company ( a ) more output ( b ) faster speed . And if costs increase , costs must grow at a slower pace than revenues . To accomplish this , a technology leader can rarely do more of the same and expect to have as much influence on business decisions within their companies . Change is required .

Technology leaders should take the reins on driving specific decisions that can demonstrably enable their organizations to do more at less cost ( and that ’ s especially the case in this economic climate ). To put just one example to that : tech leaders now turning to low-code strategies can accelerate development ( figure around 20x the speed of hardcoding ) while still getting the AI , IoT , etc capabilities that they need to keep pace with modernization . And tech leaders can do it without hiring the AI , data analyst , etc . expertise that would otherwise be required . Demonstrable change like that will get business leaders ' ears and help influence decisions .
Technology leaders will also have more success influencing business decisions if they can tie technology strategy ( and their tech solution wish lists ) to revenue . Take digital experience modernization , which is
on every tech leader ’ s plate right now thanks to digital-first companies like Amazon investing US $ 60 + billion per year on R & D .
Technology leaders who want to influence those digital experience decisions should be providing insights to the business leaders by clearly describing what ’ s possible . They should provide , what my company calls , a Tour of the Possible . Show them why creating an AI chat solution will increase retail customer satisfaction and decrease costs . Show them why merging payments with license plate readers will make it easier to pay for gas and deliver a superior digital experience . No matter what the goal is with digital change , tech leaders need to make it clear to business leaders what is possible and what to expect . p
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