How to nurture the next generation of CIOs (Sep '21)

Technology has become more potent yet more complex. CIOs must play a larger role across their organisation, while developing future leaders.

Originally published in a special report in The Times on 15 September 2021.
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Technology has transformed business over the past two decades, empowering organisations to do things better and do new things. But as the pervasiveness of the IT function has increased, so too have the demands placed upon its leaders.

On the one hand, technology’s ascendance from a back-office necessity to something that creates tangible, attributable value and growth has been a good thing. IT functions and their leaders have risen in prominence, casting aside their legacy as an “order entry”, reactive function and playing a more strategic, proactive role. On the other hand, these historically inward-facing functions have been thrust into a spotlight which demands much greater integration with the business and its growth efforts, along with a much more externalised mindset.

Recent years have seen a recasting of the role of the CIO. This is partly due to rising expectations from boards, but it’s also thanks to lobbying on the part of the IT profession itself to be embraced as legitimate members of the C-suite, with respect and influence on a par with the CFO.

Yet amid this growing prominence of technology and its leaders, ripple effects have emerged. Many organisations now face current or looming succession challenges.

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