4 habits of highly successful CIOs

What makes a highly successful CIO?

Last month, CIO Magazine celebrate its annual CIO 100 awards, honouring New Zealand's 100 most innovative CIOs and ICT leaders. Top contenders included individuals from some of New Zealand's most successful companies, including Air New Zealand, Westpac, Beca and Spark.

While we were honoured to have made the list with our very own managing director, Darius Mistry, the top prize was awarded to Russell Jones of ASB, .

With emerging technologies rapidly changing the digital marketplace, how do these successful CIOs continue to deliver beneficial strategies to remain on the front lines of innovation? What factors do CIOs of highly performing companies (HPC) have in common?

In this article, we'll look at four areas these CIOs excel in, and how you can apply these IT solutions for your own business.

Exceptional CIOs have a multitude of skills.Exceptional CIOs have a multitude of skills.

1. Successful CIOs prioritise growth and business performance

CIOs of HPCs prioritise operational business performance above all else, followed closely by opportunities for growth, reports Deloitte's 2017 global CIO survey. Less than half of the other CIOs surveyed identified performance as the most important factor, with the report suggesting that this 'laser-like' focus is one of the key strategies in maintaining a competitive edge.

Making the most of your IT systems and identifying opportunities for improvement is something all businesses are capable of. 

2. Prioritise personal development as well

However, growing business performance expands beyond the technical. Speaking to Forbes, Mark Settle, CIO of several high-powered American firms such as Corporate Express and BMC Software, explains that technical understanding and management is only as strong as the personal bonds that maintain them.

Technical understanding and management is only as strong as the personal bonds that maintain them.

Mr Settle elaborates that even with the latest and greatest technology, if CIOs do not integrate themselves with other aspects of the business, and don't take the time to cultivate meaningful relationships with colleagues and executives, they're effectively shooting themselves in the foot. CIO Magazine agrees. As CIOs are often parts of multiple teams, the ability to manage them is paramount to success.

Case in point, the winner of CIO 100, Russell Jones, contributes not only to technical matters, but to strategy, governance and wider leadership discussions as well, says CIO Magazine.  

3. Successful CIOs are competitive, deliberate and direct

Regardless of company size and background, it would appear successful CIOs share a few common work styles, says Deloitte. A competitive nature helps fuel creativity and high-quality work, yet CIOs from HPCs take their time when it comes to implementing new IT strategies, recognising that hurried decisions can have long-standing consequences. The wrong decision, or a decision that does not fit with the company, can end up negatively impacting bottom line.

Likewise, businesses needn't solely rely on themselves to make critical decisions as to where their technology will lead to in the future. In order to create successful IT strategies that benefit well into the future, it's essential businesses find a tailored solution that fits their unique business needs.

It's essential businesses find a tailored IT solution that fits their unique business needs.

4. Are exceptional in developing IT capabilities

Information and data security, strategic alignment of business IT and objectives and project execution are high on the 'to do' list of HPC CIOs, reports Deloitte. Getting the fundamentals of IT right and maintaining efficient and reliable systems before moving on to areas of innovation and analytics are part of these 'high performing' cultures.

Part of this means ensuring an IT team isn't overburdened in the day-to-day management tasks of running the department. If your team is bogged down with trying to get the simple stuff right, it can be difficult to capitalise on opportunities for growth and innovation. For small teams with limited resources, it might be beneficial in getting some expert advice in overcoming this obstacle. 

To find out more, get in touch with the team at Imagetext Integrated Solutions today.