IT departments have long been looked at by business owners as a costly function. IT leaders will have to change that perception and make them realize that IT is a facilitator, not just a cost sink. What business leaders don’t realize is that IT enjoys a special place as they can visualize the entire organziation at a data, process and transaction level.
As a result, they have a multi dimensional view, which enables them to identify cross departmental issues, processes and technologies. How they integrate with one another and what impact it could have on your organziation. Not only that, they can also evaluate solutions like DDoS protected DNS and decide whether they can easily be implemented on different fucntions across the organziations.
Put yourself in the shoes of an IT leader and think abouyt the challenges you might have to face. From getting buy-in from stakeholders to getting the budget approved from board members. From finding the right talent to managing complex environments, From dealing with cybercrimminals to fixing technical issues, From driving change to preventing their team from employee burnout.
The acute talent shortfall prevalent in the IT and cybersecurity industry as well as the skill shortfall are complicating things even more. According to Cybersecuriy Vendtures, there are 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs in 2021, which is up from 1 million unfilled jobs in 2014. The worst part is that fresh IT graduates does not possess the same level of skills that organziations demand, which has made the problem even worse. Coupled with the great resignation, IT leaders are even struggling to retain their exsiting employees. Finding the right talent and retaining them has become a tough ask for IT leaders.
Throw in some pandemic induced challenges such as remote work, growing number of cyberattacks and data breaches and lack of visibility and you have a mountain to climb in front of you. So how can an IT leader or CIO overcome all these challenges while still propelling themselves to industry thought leadership status? That is the question we will answer in this article. If you are interested in learning about the answer to this question, you are at the right place.
In this article, you will learn about how a chief information officer can become a thought leader.
How Can You Become An IT Thought Leader As a CIO?
Here are three ways you can use to uplift your status from CIO to an industry thought leader.
1. Understanding IT Trends
Whether you are a business leader or an IT leader, you must have a vision. A vision is what differentiate leaders from followers. This means that you will be able to anticipate future trends earlier than anyone else. For instance, if you are an IT leader, you must put more emphasis on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, edge computing and more.
As these technologies mature, we will see their capabilities grow. This means that it can fulfill many of your business use cases. In fact, you will even be able to integrate these technologies into your production systems to reap the real benefits of these technologies. Many businesses are already doing this and getting amazing results already.
Instead of just looking at your current technology stack, you should also broaden your horizon as an IT leader. This means looking at technologies that are being used in other industries. Focus on technologies that can give you a competitive advantage over your competitors. Don’t shy away from looking at technologies your competitors and customers. You can even explore new aveneuues your existing technologies offer. Think of different ways it can be used and you will surely come up with new applications for your existing technology.
2. Focus on Specific Industry Issues
Once you have analyzed the industry trends, now is the time to understand your industry. This entails everything from understanding your business partners and the role your company is currently playing in the industry and how they can play a more important role in the industry in the years to come. That does not mean that you should take your eye off the competitors. You should be watchful of them as well as industry events. Not only that, you should also be aware of the regulatory changes or nrw standards being introduced and how they will impact your business and industry.
The better you can anticipate your client and user painpoints and industry challenges, the easier it is for you to provide a suitable solution to the problem. This will take your career to the next level as you will become an integral part of business strategy. Your input will be considered valuable as you look at both the technical and business side of things and bring a fresh perspective that most business people can never think of.
3. Know the Intersections
Let’s assume that you can now anticipate the future trends and also be aware of the industry problems, the next step would be to understand where both these things intersect. Once you can draw a parallel between the latest industry trends, emerging technologies and how they can help solve industry’s biggest painpoints, that is when you become an industry thought leader.
This will allow you to see the big picture clearly and have a holistic perspective on things. That is when you graduate from being a knowledge collector to a knowledge provider. More importantly, it will help you come up with innovative ideas and capitalize on new business opportunities. It also puts you in a much better position when it comes to convincing board members, executives and top management but also cement your place as a leader for peers and team members. As a result, your professional reputation will grow but so does the value of IT in the eyes of board members.
Which of these is the most important in your opinion to become a thought leader in your industry? Share it with us in the comments section below.