The Role of IT in Strategic Management
Information technology has liberated man in his way of performing duties. The role of IT management in a company cannot be ignored by the modern Chief Information Officer. IT management is undergoing tremendous transformations. The transformations have witnessed the emergence and growth of the role of CIO into a meaningful organizational leadership role. The major role of a CIO in a modern business enterprise is the application of technical knowledge in ensuring that the operations of the company functions with less cost today and even in the future. The changes that are taking place in business today have the focal point of enhancing IT to function with the rationale of increasing the value of businesses. The other main role of a CIO is to manage the expectations of the end users, IT staff, senior management, and employees of the company. For instance with the recent global economic crunch, CIOs are expected to ensure the technology adopted or installed by firms helps to cut down the cost. Thus, the role of a CIO is to select the technology that will not only minimize costs but also ensure the firm enjoys a comparative advantage.
Therefore, failure to manage the expectations of the people in designing an IT system can undermine your credibility as a CIO. Planning the proper implementation of an IT management system that functions are the paramount role of a CIO in any modern company that aims at maximizing profits and minimizes costs. CIOs need to be involved in innovative planning, training of internal IT staff and other employees about the company and its aims, providing alternatives to customers without jeopardizing quality or efficiencies, and meeting the expectations of the directors in the company. The most important role of the IT department is to devise an IT project management solution that allows companies to address their problems at least financial costs. The department is also supposed to be involved in improving the company efficiency, customer satisfaction, and reduce the risks to business entities. To ensure the project succeeds, IT experts need to involve the staff in designing, architecture as well as the implementation of the project in any given company.
Improving IT management in Companies
The acid test of a CIO is to avoid conflicts with his executives or manage the systems in order to desist from bumping heads with business managers. To avoid any form of conflict CIOs need to be competent in IT strategy planning. They need to know how to deal with those who doubt the system (Holmes, 2008). Managers have best negotiation skills. Therefore, a CIO needs to have mastery skills of the machines to bargain well in IT planning and management in a company. However, not everything can be negotiated on in the implementation of the system (Holmes, 2008). CIO needs to have the business objectives in mind and technology expertise to come later. This will ensure that they come up with IT solutions for the company’s problems. The correct IT systems can only be designed when the CIO understands the company well. Eventually the company will succeed in its operations thereby avoiding the collapse of the business. The modern CIO should be able to meet the expectations of the executives and contribute to improvements and efficiency of companies in the IT strategic planning process. This can only be possible by ensuring that the expectation of the CEO’s behavior is acceptable to the CIO (Goulston, 2008). CIOs need to put into consideration the following; firstly, spend financial resources wisely. The CIO should not just be involved in performing supportive work but the right work they were meant to perform. The money should be spent on the right project. Innovative projects that benefit the company. A higher percentage of the money should be spent on innovative programmes. Secondly, understand their technology: CIOs must be aware of the new technology in the market and advice accordingly the executives on the best technology to employ in the company. The most recent innovations that are efficient must be the right choice of the CIO to ensure the company is on the top in technological development. The CIO should be on the front guiding the executives the right technology for the firm. Thirdly, communicate the mission of the company. The CIOs need to talk about the best way of addressing the firm’s real problems and not dwell on communicating technical language. The easy to understand knowledge should be found so that the executives can comprehend the technology. Fourthly, come up with words the precisely describe the IT department. Most people believe IT is the solution to a firm’s problems. CIOs need to make necessary steps to enhance the capacity of the department in meeting the deadlines and thus the company’s. Lastly, decide processes that work. The automation process in a company should deliver on the company businesses irrespective of how the type of technology. The process of installing may take more time, but finally the technology must prove to improve the efficiency of companies.
Leadership skills of successful future CIOs
Leadership skills are very important because they enable CIOs to be effective in IT strategy planning process. CIOs should be competent in leadership skills. The skills essential for CIOs to be effective in planning include good listening, empowerment, delegating duties, handling issues of personality, discipline, respect, motivation and inspiration, self esteem and credibility (Forster, 2010). Good communication is important in motivating the staff and the executives. The most crucial task for CIOs is to spearhead transformations and take advantage of the restructuring process of the firm. This is likely to enhance the CIO’s leadership role and abilities. The desired leadership attributes and competencies of CIOs differ from one firm to another, based on the operations of the company. However, to develop the leadership competencies for the CIO, there is a need for continued education and training in order to equip the CIOs with the relevant knowledge and skills demanded by the modern society. Leadership is seen as the main competency. Several studies have shown that the most important element in understanding how the business operates is leadership. Many companies have prioritized this competency in developing their CIOs. Transformation abilities and leadership are too proving to be essential attributes. How to manage talent is an additional aspect of those who are involved in IT management. Companies have grown tremendously. With the globalization of business, more and more skills are required to enhance the CIO management competencies. Globalization demands that CIOs update their communication skills to be effective in IT strategic management. The spreading of firms from one continent to other calls upon the experts in IT to be competent in intercultural communication. People from different geographical locations have different needs and aspirations in growing their businesses. Cultural diversity is a phenomenon with people of different races, religions, traditions and beliefs. The experts in IT planning should come up with programmes that satisfy clients of the companies, consumers of companies’ products, the users, and the executives.
Forster, N. (2010). Maximum Performance: A Practical Guide to Leading and Managing People at Work. Zayed University, Academic City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Goulston. M (2008). How to Avoid Bumping Heads. CIO Magazine. Web.
Holmes, A.( 2008).The Four (Not Three, Not Five) Principles of Managing Expectations. CIO Magazine. Web.