How to Lead an Enterprise on the Road to Innovation?

Who better than CIOs today should become catalysts for innovation in the direction of socially active enterprises and guides in the era of digital business ecosystems?! But the path to change lies through several stages: they must determine the strategy, shift the focus to the effective relationship of business and IT priorities, and gain the support of top management.

It is natural for businesses to constantly change. These changes are the result of a constantly changing business environment and new trends: the commoditization of goods and services, the individualization of values, the disappearance of the line between reality and cyberspace, and the transformation of the workforce.

To keep abreast of change and thrive in such an environment, businesses must be socially active and evolve as a digital business ecosystem that offers innovative services and products quickly and affordably. Thus, the position should be strengthened in enterprises that innovation is not additional, but the only real advantage. As a CIO, you can learn new things by attending CIO conferences annually.

Here are three critical steps that enable CIOs to bridge the gap between business and IT?

Step One: Find support from top management 

Most CIOs make strategy and take executive level decisions. This is not surprising, given that only 46% of CEOs believe that CIOs understand anything about the business. But it’s worth adding here that CEOs have created this situation themselves, celebrating efficiency and cost reduction over value creation. However, research shows that the union of the CIO and top management in an organization is the key to financial success.

The cost-effectiveness of organizations where CIOs were part of the overall development strategy is almost twice as high as organizations where this was not the case.  This observation makes it clear that CIOs must lead learning, technical support, and the balance between efficiency and effectiveness. But they also need to be careful that balancing and being neat doesn’t turn into servility. Leading to a loss of value for technology and the use of innovation.

The further, the clearer that CIOs and IT departments should be perceived less as a technology development area. And more as a source of innovation and transformation that brings new business value -manage technology, not just provide it.

Step Two: Defining the strategy

To gain a meaningful role in C-suite relationships, CIOs must identify and avoid unproductive decisions, innovate, and change inert behaviors. This transformation process means many changes for IT enterprises. The role of the CIO is to free up time and resources traditionally associated with IT responsibilities (transaction delivery, infrastructure, technology, and code) to focus on enabling aggregation, orchestration and prediction, management, monitoring, and service security.

Such actions will improve the mobility of enterprises and their value to customers. CIOs should start by standardizing and defining what they do: what actions will lead to value creation for customers, delimiting the capabilities of the enterprise and increasing competitiveness? Next, they can begin to modernize business processes in preparation for IT empowerment. And for all other tasks, either find another person, or abandon them. Start simplifying processes to make sure that this is really the right path to success.

Step Three: Shift Focus to Innovation

While new business models are only taking shape through technological advances. Old ones are gradually disappearing, and the survival of other enterprises depends on their innovativeness and adaptability. CIOs should be guiding the rest of management to understand that the game has already changed. They must take the lead in developing strategies and tactics to win the new game while keeping up with the pace of global market change. Whenever top management thinks about VC investments – in business or IT – the CIO should ask three main questions:

  • Will it create value for the customer?
  • Is the enterprise or can it be the best in the world in this direction?
  • Should an enterprise invest for legal or regulatory reasons?

Until at least one of these questions is answered “Yes”, venture capital investments should not even be considered. If there are no positive answers, then find partners in the ecosystem to attract them to the project.

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