Embrace change or move out of the way

Disruption is occurring whether we like it or not, so go along for the ride rather than stay standing still...

Mark Samuels

How do you cope with change? It's a big question with no simple answer. While there is no definitive coping strategy, experts can agree with one simple premise change is the new normal and CIOs, just like any other leading executives, must get used to a constant state of flux.

That was one of the key conclusions from a recent invitation-only event organised by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Evidence from the meeting suggests that successful digital leaders focus on the changing nature of work and on driving organisational change.

That concentration is a matter of urgency. If a CIO does not disrupt the IT organisation or the business, then someone else probably will. One only needs to think of the rise of the CDO and the increased influence of the CMO over technology purchasing.

Gartner predicts CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs by 2017. The analyst firm also believes that 25 per cent of blue-chip businesses will have a CDO in situ by the end of this year.

CIOs, then, must be aware that other c-suite executives are already trampling on their traditional stamping ground. Without proving their value to the rest of the business, CIOs are in danger of being undermined and usurped.

What's more, the challenge to CIOs is not just confined to the upper echelons of power. Attendees at the BCS event recognised that driving change is tough and the challenge of preparing people for constant transformation, especially younger staff members, is only going to increase.

Conversation turned to the belief that the up-and coming generation have different expectations regarding the use of technology and the working practices of modern business. Younger people, it was suggested, see life differently; they gather experiences and they want to be entrepreneurial.

Retained employees must be careful to avoid blocking such creativity. CIOs and their senior peers should learn from the digitally engaged generation. They should use practices like reverse mentoring to explore and understand how younger people make the most of technology, rather than expecting all workers to conform to agreed standards and principle.

Great ideas can bubble up from any point in the business. C-suite executives must be open enough to recognise that the culture of an organisation, as well as customer demands and business models, will also be in a constant state of flux in the digital era.

There is, in short, no option but to embrace change. CIOs who fail to grab the opportunities created by transformation will soon become an executive spare part. 

Featured Resources

Unlocking collaboration: Making software work better together

How to improve collaboration and agility with the right tech

Download now

Four steps to field service excellence

How to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Six things a developer should know about Postgres

Why enterprises are choosing PostgreSQL

Download now

The path to CX excellence for B2B services

The four stages to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Recommended

What does a CISO do?
Careers & training

What does a CISO do?

2 Mar 2021
What is identity management?
identity and access management (IAM)

What is identity management?

19 Feb 2021
Building our future leaders
Business strategy

Building our future leaders

21 Jan 2021
What is an MSSP?
Security

What is an MSSP?

5 Jan 2021

Most Popular

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages
data centres

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages

7 Apr 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

8 Apr 2021
Hackers are using fake messages to break into WhatsApp accounts
instant messaging (IM)

Hackers are using fake messages to break into WhatsApp accounts

8 Apr 2021