CIOs: clever strategists
Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT Directors are at the heart of the digital transition. In France, over 85% of IT decision-makers are working on the digital transition, and in half of these cases, the budget allocated to this mission is increasing, according to a 2016 study (Baromètre JDN/Club Décision DSI/IT Reasearch).
Faced with the major challenge of the digital transition, CIOs work closely with top management. Often, they have a senior profile and combine several skills such as management, consulting, and computer engineering. They are no longer restricted to back office and now occupy a crossroads position in the company, acting on numerous levels: technology, products and services, customer focus, marketing and business and value chain, wherever information is key. IT decision-makers must consider costs while maintaining competitiveness. At the same time, they are in charge of helping the company and the various functions through technological shifts and new uses. In other words, they are real coaches, in charge of sharing previously researched best digital practices. However, they also need to look at the bigger picture and assist top management in defining the firm’s digital strategy.
Today, it appears that CIOs are more strategists than executants. Which implies all the more challenges for this function, mostly male, with only 27% of women making up this workforce in 2016 (“Femmes du numérique” study by Syntec Numérique). In the future, the arrival of smart products will gradually widen CIOs’ scope of work, and they will have to adapt to new challenges related to cyber safety, corporate culture and new economic models.