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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now


Careers & training

IT manager job description: What does an IT manager do?

28 Oct 2019
Business strategy

CIO job description: What does a CIO do?

1 Oct 2019
Careers & training

What does a CISO do?

25 Sep 2019

The cyber security skills your business needs

24 Sep 2019

Most Popular


Raspberry Pi 4 owners complain of broken Wi-Fi when using HDMI

29 Nov 2019
Mobile Phones

Samsung sails past Apple's market share despite smartphone market slump

28 Nov 2019
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

What to expect from AWS Re:Invent 2019

29 Nov 2019