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How will the role CIO develop in the future?
As technology drives organisations forward, we know that roles are set to change to reflect a shift in business requirements. For companies who want to prepare their inhouse talent for the future CIO role, it´s important to know how it will develop in the near future.
Merging the roles of the CIO and CMO
The role of chief information officer (CIO) and chief marketing officer (CMO) are set to merge into one role, ‘chief marketing technology officer’ that encompasses a combination of both IT and marketing skills. It’s reported that CMOs will spend more time working with technology than CIOs in the coming years.
Looking forward, CIOs will need to scrub up on their marketing skills and develop a good understanding of the marketing function, as well as the other corporate disciplines they’ll be supporting, in order to keep up to date with the roles’ requirements. Learning about each department enables CIOs to support the other teams, and this is one of the reasons we are seeing CIOs move into chief operations officer (COO) roles.
Making IT and marketing work better together
Ensuring that all teams are working together efficiently and productively within a business is key to success, however, good communication is fundamental to collaboration across IT and the marketing function. Business partnering roles are popular in large multination companies, but SMEs can adopt this approach by designating someone to provide the conduit between marketing and IT
From CIO to CEO
The digital revolution has also unveiled opportunities for the CIO to step up into the role of CEO. Setting the technology strategy and overall direction is a key part of the CIOs role. As every company is slowly becoming a tech company through digital transformation, the CIO is in a great position to influence the future direction of the company at CEO level.
The CIO, with their skills and experience in IT, has an abundance of knowledge to bring to businesses looking to digitise. Operation excellence is par for the course for any good CIO, and the ability to organise and set procedures which guarantee service delivery are highly transferable skills which are valuable in the role of a CEO.
It is often said that the technology sector is the hardest market to attract, hire and retain the top talent. If the CIO has already had success building a strong and talented IT team, they can translate that to the entirety of the business.
The importance of soft skills
Ultimately, communication and leadership are the most important soft skills for an IT leader. With the pace of technology evolving rapidly, it’s impossible for a CIO to keep up to date with every technology trend out there. A CIO’s role is about mobilising a team to perform to the best of their ability. Communicating with the board to understand business priorities and from there, delivering a service that will best support them. IT leaders need to understand what makes their business different and which areas can be altered to improve the organisation.
Future technical skills for IT leaders
As the market continues to change at a rapid pace, it is important to look out for the candidates that possess the key skill sets to help drive your IT strategy.
Machine learning – speeding up the pace at which businesses can capitalise.
Utilising Big Data – transforming big data into actionable intelligence.
Python programming – build programmes and products quickly.
AI engineering – grasping technology as well as human intelligence.
Cyber security expertise – creating barriers that protect against cyber threats.
Data visualisation – bringing data to life.
Data compliance – managing GDPR and customer data changes.
Blockchain – developing new and simpler ways to be sure of information.
SQL development – structuring and managing data.