Content thumbnail Born to be Digital

Chart 8 Digital-ready CIOs ensure their Business relationship of CIOs with internal and external stakeholders 4vision is understood. External 94% Direct reports and subordinates The next trait that stands out is the ability to craft a compelling 90% story about how technology can transform the business. This is 75% vital: digital changes the way many businesses work, opening up Chief financial officer (CFO) 63% wholly new possibilities, but people have to buy into this vision, and 75% understand how it might benefit them — in short, CIOs need to be Department heads master storytellers. Not with the aim of selling a fairytale, but 59% 73% rather in creating an exciting narrative that the rest of the business Chief executive officer (CEO) can buy into. 58% 63% Communication is a vital part of any CIO’s role, and one where Chief operating officer (COO) many acknowledge the need for improvement. But the ability to 54% craft a tale of how the business might look and work after a digital 59% Chief marketing officer (CMO) transformation further intensifies this need. “Storytelling is a key 37% skill,” says Diego Calegari, Spanish South American CIO Executive 44% at IBM, who explains that true storytelling requires a deep grasp of Chief sales officer (CSO) 39% the core of the business and how it works, in order to explain how it can change in future. Internal SAP Americas CIO Michael Golz cites examples of CIOs he meets in 52% his peer-to-peer customer conversations, like the aerospace CIO Clients who explains convincingly the impact of harnessing in-flight sensor 37% 44% data to transform their business model, or the medical device CIO Regulators who articulates the impact of information technology on their 31% products to improve the well being of patients, while creating deep 43% customer relationships. “These CIOs clearly know their industry Analysts 33% business processes, the value of collecting data from their 33% products, the business around monetizing that data, and creating Media value-added services. They know how to explain these new 21% Digital-ready CIO IT-intensive industry CIO business models, which may be more profitable than actually building the physical products,” says Golz. “So it’s a true business (Percentage of respondents who have chosen 8, 9 or 10 on a scale from 1 = needs substantial improvement conversation. It’s not about upgrading system XYZ to improve to 10 = absolutely excellent) efficiency by 0.5%.” In particular, a CIO should be able to explain the strategy of the company, the strength of its products, and its go-to-market “ Storytelling is a key skill.” strategy, using the relevant business terms and KPIs. Digital-ready CIOs more often recognize this need: 9 out of 10 cite Diego Calegari, Spanish South American CIO communication and influencing skills as strongly important to their Executive, IBM roles. “Now that technology-driven innovation has become critical to organizational success, there is more pressure on the CIO to communicate that importance,” says Nedbank’s CIO Fred Swanepoel. “It’s about your ability to go head-to-head with business executives in discussions about IT’s role in changing the core of the business. It’s here that I often see the traditional techies struggle.” Born to be digital | 25

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