Seventhman Blog

The Greatest Challenge a CIO Has to Face

"cio"For quite some time, I have been pondering about the current talent shortage that many businesses are complaining about.  Is it really a lack of people who fit skill-wise.. or personality-wise?  For the same reason, CIOs should spend more time thinking about human resources so they can bridge the gap between innovation and strategic initiative. When there is a need to manage people to perform their best and increase opportunities in corporate profitability, perhaps it’s high time that the CIO and HR executive work head-to-head over a cup of coffee.. and brew a plan that will advance the company’s business goals to create results, for real.

The Paradox: Integrating IT with Business

Thanks to the rise in cloud applications, CIOs are taking a more strategic role in the business side of things, rather than simply sit back in the tech department.  Sooner, every CIO will be equipped with ways to merge IT and business so s/he can make plans that will drive revenue, solve customer pain points and fix persistent business issues.  While the HR has  a treasure cove of data about workers lying dormant in the system, the CIO has the analytic skills to unearth value out of these data.  To deal with managing talents, having a scientific approach will turn businesses into game changers.  The CIO may just find the crucial piece that connects value creation and innovation.  But the real challenge is how to make everyone think that IT is not a separate entity from the entire business.  This time, we have to shift the focus on IT tasks to relationships.  Simply put – just because you’re not writing codes don’t mean you are not adding value on the table.

With High Risks Come High Rewards

Maybe I’m asking too much.. but CIOs who are adopting mobility these days are also the ones who are facing high rewards – with greater risks.  Those who embraced the idea of telecommuting are seeing better results, with happier employees as a plus.  While it’s totally fine to be cautious about mobility, being resistant to change is not.  If you take longer than the rest to moving things forward, you will be left behind in the race.  With the recent reports on China’s cyber-espionage, the outsourcing industry hit another dent where data security is concerned.  Still, adopting mobility in the workplace is on the rise to meet end-user demand.  How can we do a better job for our talents and make sure we attract new ones?  This is the question everyone in business has been asking lately to make sure they increase speed, agility and productivity – while improving their brand value, customer loyalty and competitive advantage.

The Quest for Continuous Improvement Begins

Where do CIOs go from here?  The only way to improve is to actively measure what works and what doesn’t.  The issue is not much about identifying problems, but the quality of new solutions being run.  At some point, you have to check if your KPI (key performance indicator) is up-to-date.  Data on job candidates alone are not enough to identify the key element to their success.  You have to anticipate their needs so you can plan programs that will improve their job satisfaction and keep attrition rate closer to nil.  Money alone is not a great motivator so you may have to revamp what will have a greater impact on your bottom line – then, draft incentive structures based on what exactly makes them perform best.  You can’t take the back seat this time hoping that things will improve soon.

If you want to have a clue about what’s happening – you have to be in the game.  This is the ONLY way.  It’s high time to match your IT portfolio with your business strategy.  The Good News?  It’s achievable.