31 Mar The changing role of CIOs in modern business
In today’s rapidly evolving business world, the role of the CIO has become increasingly vital in driving organisational productivity. However, these executives are confronted with challenges such as outdated technology, insufficient infrastructure and increasing technical debt. Helen Kruger, CEO of Troye, discusses the difficulties that CIOs face in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environment.
Despite these challenges, CIOs are positioned to drive overall business improvement if they can be relieved of their day-to-day technology management duties. Gone are the days when CIOs were only responsible for constructing and maintaining networks.
The modern CIO is now tasked with creating a productive work environment that allows employees to be productive, regardless of location or time. This new generation of CIOs focuses on people while also implementing automation and is more deeply integrated into the organisation than ever before.
A recent study conducted by Citrix has revealed that CIOs now have a major role in determining organisational budgets and shaping business strategy. The study was based on interviews with 3 300 business leaders from large and mid-market companies across the world.
The new role of CIOs
With the current economic climate, companies are relying on their tech leaders to serve as strategic business partners. The data showed:
- 67% of business leaders believe the CIO is now second only to the CEO in shaping and delivering the business strategy;
- 64% of business leaders state that the CIO has control over the majority of the organisation’s budget; and
- 73% of business leaders consider having a vision for the future as crucial for being a successful tech leader in today’s world.
The study indicates that the role of CIOs is rapidly expanding and includes responsibilities such as regulation and compliance, ESG performance and more. The new responsibilities require new skills, with emotional intelligence being considered as one of the most important qualities for a successful tech leader.
Infrastructure and talent challenges
The research also highlights that many CIOs are still grappling with infrastructure challenges. Sixty-seven percent of C-level tech leaders (1 100 respondents) stated that legacy systems and technical debt are significant hurdles in their role.
The tech industry is facing a talent crisis and a looming leadership vacuum, with 46% of C-level tech leaders delaying their retirement due to a lack of suitable replacements. CIOs are now responsible for ensuring that all employees have the technology they need to work effectively, and half of them are involved in tech troubleshooting for employees. While the role of CIOs is evolving, more needs to be done to enable them to focus on higher-level business strategy work.
In order to aid CIOs with this complex task, Citrix partners such as Troye specialise in designing secure digital workspaces that provide customers with an enhanced experience. With our solutions, customers can access all their apps, desktops, files and services on a unified platform, regardless of their location, device or network.
Troye’s digital workspace solutions simplify complexity and enhance productivity, speed and efficiency for CIOs. Our solutions enable people to work safely and securely, resulting in their best work output. Additionally, our solutions provide CIOs with the necessary agility and flexibility to succeed in the future.
Balancing tradition and transformation
Today’s CIOs are expected to lead technology transformation, but at the same time, they are dealing with legacy infrastructure and transformation projects. They also play a crucial role in addressing the talent crisis by maximising employee productivity and leading automation projects.
CIOs are caught between the ‘traditional’ role of gatekeeping infrastructure and managing digital transformation projects and the ‘transitional’ role of defining and refining workplace technology and driving business strategy. They must manage the introduction of new technologies while retaining the value of existing systems.
Successful CIOs will invest in infrastructure that allows them to manage the past and prepare for the future. Tech leadership is now closely tied to organisational success and CIOs must adapt to their role as change agents.