In some organizations there is a finely intertwined relationship between business and technology – a relationship constantly defined by the rapid pace of change in capabilities and best practices. But even though they might be at odds sometimes, there’s no question that modern businesses need technology. Not only to thrive, but even to survive at all.
Often, business relationship managers (BRMs) have the difficult task of ensuring everything aligns between strategy, technology, capacity, and goals. A major ally in this is the Chief Information Officer (CIO), an increasingly important role in modern organizations. This is the person ultimately responsible for the maintenance, monitoring, and usage of business IT systems, as well as setting their strategic goals for the company – and in the post-pandemic era, they have an unparalleled insight into how any business can run more effectively. Because of this, we believe they should always have a seat at the boardroom table, with equal say in decisions about how to best invest in future technology.
6 Reasons to Have CIOs at the Boardroom Table
1) Technology is a major driver of business and industries as a whole.
Technology underlies almost everything that happens in modern industries – from the computers used for inventory and accounting to the customized CAD software that enables precise fabrication in a warehouse. What’s more, for every industry there is always a new method, system, or improvement around the corner that could revolutionize everything. Without someone at the table who knows how to properly interpret and plan for this world of rapid change, your organization will quickly get left behind.
2) Processes can be made much more efficient through technology.
Imagine trying to sort through millions of paper files stored in multiple locations. It would be time-consuming, difficult, and stressful. But on a computer, you can do it in the background while focusing on something else entirely. That’s just one example of how you can make your processes leaner and more efficient by implementing the right systems – systems that can remove unnecessary work and delays, and standardize the correct workflows for everyone. And who can look at the big picture and know what the right system is? Your CIO and their team. When they have all the information for their decisions, the entire organization benefits greatly.
3) Technology can enable the creation and development of better business services.
Through platforms like ServiceNow, the sky is the limit when it comes to customized services and functionality. Not only will you be able to better accommodate your internal teams and their needs, but you’ll also be able to tailor your services to your clients and offer a strong, cohesive experience that enhances your reputation. However, this is all contingent on those services being in place and built out well, in a way that suits your organization. Armed with a holistic view of your operations, your CIO is optimally placed to bridge that gap between necessary services and technological solutions and turn them into reality.
4) Automation, cloud services, and other technology drives more employee productivity.
When your employees are not bogged down in mundane, repetitive processes and have the right infrastructure to support their needs, their productivity can rise sharply. The right IT setup will free up your team to focus on more critical tasks and problem solving, and every new solution sets a precedent for more success in the future. Plus, technology allows for seamless communication and collaboration across different programs, teams, and platforms, making it easy to work together in real time. Your CIO is ultimately responsible for keeping all these parts moving, and they need a good look at company operations in order to make the best decisions.
5) Smart application of technology maximizes revenue opportunities.
Efficient processes, better business services, and higher employee productivity all have another thing in common: they save your company money while boosting your earning power. A good CIO knows this, and will always be on the lookout for ways to use existing technology to pursue more revenue. Perhaps this article from Forbes summarizes it best: “Digital transformation drives both revenue and margin improvements by improving efficiency and delivering better customer and employee experiences.”
6) Data analytics can be used to drive cost savings within the company.
Part of a CIO’s job is data analysis and interpretation of the company’s performance. Using comparative methods of real-time data and optimization algorithms, the CIO and their IT team can predict where changes should be made – such as the removal of underperforming products/services, stopping an unsuccessful marketing campaign, or even detecting potential sources of fraud.
What do you think? Do you believe that the role of CIO should have a say in the overall strategic direction of the company? As technology and IT continues to grow in prominence, this question will only get more relevant over time. It’s worth thinking about before it becomes critical for your company.