Can IT Leaders Be Just As Important As the CEO?

Today, technology is more integral to achieving business success than ever before. Almost every step of the business process from strategy to execution now involves the use of digital technology. Furthermore, studies have shown that its usage━when coupled with great IT leadership━can help improve overall performance.

CIOs, CTOs, and other IT leaders may have been behind the scenes in the past. However, now they are at the forefront of many company initiatives. A recent study by Harvard Business Review reported that companies that combine technology and leadership effectively are more likely to increase their revenue by 10 percent or more in the first two years.

Members of the IT executive team can be your most valuable allies when it comes to implementing technology to improve your business. How can utilizing them help your entire organization grow?

Managing People
Employees are at the heart of every organization. They are the ones that drive your business to success, so it is crucial to know about their working styles, motivations, strengths, and values. Technology is helping organizations learn about what is most important to their employees and identify ways to help them grow professionally. When company leaders are more informed, it can also make it easier to manage teams.

Many companies are initiating innovative benefits programs that reward employees based on their performance and productivity. For example, Google has some of the most expansive employee benefits programs in the world. Employees enjoy free gourmet food, massages, and paid family leave. They have access to bikes, treadmills, nap pods, and even a garden space for planting in the workspace. These perks may sound superfluous, but their success in motivating employees is supported by data that the company tracked and analyzed.

Of course, not every business can offer the same perks as tech-giant Google. But, other organizations can emulate their use of technology to learn more about their workforce to help motivate and manage them.

Optimizing Time With Integration and Automation
Technologies like collaboration tools, wireless presentation software, CRM systems, and more are integrating information between systems. Integration allows organizations to decrease the number of tools they need to log into, and stores their data in a few places instead of several.

Digital technology has also made it easier for organizations to automate menial but time-consuming tasks, giving individuals more time to devote to more valuable projects. Both automation and integration have become crucial for businesses to remain competitive, especially when it comes to marketing and sales.

This is why many CIOs and CMOs have started to collaborate on marketing initiatives. CIOs can help CMOs and other members of the marketing team use integration and automation tools to streamline processes, save time, and optimize revenue. Furthermore, when IT leaders work together with marketing leaders, their data and technology expertise can help improve overall campaign effectiveness.

Paving the Way for Data-Driven Strategy
For the past several years, the term “business intelligence” (BI) has been buzzing in the corporate world. Companies can now collect data about employee engagement, sales, customer behaviors and relationships, marketing, and almost every other facet of a business that affects performance. Data visualization and easy-to-use analytics tools have made it possible for both small and large businesses to take advantage of BI.

Modern-day IT executives are often at the core of these capabilities. Technology makes it easier for companies to learn about their industry trends, competitors, and target audiences. However, the value of business intelligence is only truly realized when organizations turn data into action. The role of a CIO is evolving into a position that works with different verticals within an organization to help make this happen. They are working with CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, and other C-suite executives to promote the use of data and technology in making more informed and strategic decisions.

In nearly every industry in the world, technology has become a crucial part of business growth.
With strong IT leadership, companies are more likely to make data-driven decisions, drive employee productivity, and increase revenue. Ultimately, they learn more about their business, and by doing so, boost their overall performance.

Additional Reading
Why CIOs Don’t Become CEOs
What It Takes for CIOs to be CEOs
Making the CIO to CEO Connection

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