How does the modern CIO align IT to business objectives?

Will Astbury
by Will Astbury 30 November 2016

Every CIO knows that they must create and support IT functions that achieve business objectives if they are to be viewed as a success by other C-level stakeholders and influential leaders.

Depending on their organisation’s requirements, some CIOs may have slightly different objectives and areas of the business to focus on compared to others. However, Deloitte’s 2016-17 CIO survey, which questioned 1,200 CIOs, revealed eight business priorities that the majority CIOs will be concentrating on in 2017.

Eight business priorities that CIOs should focus on:

  1. Customers: When asked which business objectives they would be focusing on in 2017, 57% of CIOs said they would be implementing solutions that would improve experiences for their customers.
  2. Growth: 49% of CIOs said they would also be targeting technological solutions that would help their organisation to grow.
  3. Performance: Similarly, 48% of participants in the survey aimed to improve and implement systems that help staff become more productive.
  4. Cost: As usual, 40% of CIOs were focusing on ways to reduce expenses, increase efficiency, and improve the margins for their organisation.
  5. Innovation: 35% of CIOs were looking for new ways to meet business objectives.
  6. Regulations: Compliance was not that big an issue for most CIOs. Only 17% said they would be looking at improving the ways that their organisations met legal requirements.
  7. Talent: In January 2016, Gartner identified sourcing the best talent and retaining key team members as the number one priority for CIOs in 2016. According to this survey, only 15% will be focusing on talent in 2017. The uncertainty over Brexit may have been a factor in this result.
  8. Cyber Security: Surprisingly, only 10% of CIOs were concerned about the threat of cyber-attacks. Maybe a lot of CIOs have already addressed this issue? Cyber security is a key priority for many business leaders so CIOs should include defence mechanisms in their 2017 IT strategies.
How CIOs can focus on these business objectives:
  • Bridge the gaps between business expectations and the IT team’s capabilities: Most businesses expect CIOs to be delivering in traditional areas like infrastructure maintenance, efficiency, cyber security, and business process improvement. However, CIOs also need to focus on revenue growth if they are truly able to meet the majority their organisation’s goals.
  • Make the digital leap: Digital transformation is not just about customers. CIOs need to focus on driving digital disruption within individual business areas. Digital is redefining how many processes take place across many organisations. CIOs need to take a leadership role within every digital transformation project to ensure they are well-planned, and that they align with the organisation’s wider digital strategy.

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Topics: CIO