April 12, 2016
The C-Suite is a coveted place to be in the business world. That’s where you find yourself rubbing elbows with the most influential individuals in your organization. We all know that’s where the CEO, COO and CFO live, but what about the CIO? The Chief Information Officer may be a newfounded influential role, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Whether you work for a large or small association, the role of the CIO is a critical one. Their responsibilities are ever-changing based on the technological demands of their organization. Think the decisions they make don’t affect you? Thank again.
It hasn’t been an easy road for CIOs. It’s taken years for them to become the influential force they are today. As the demand for technology has increased, so has the need for their role. Think about all of the technological resources your association uses today. Guess who made these efforts come to fruition? CIOs. CIOs are expected to streamline your association’s business practices with technology. They create an adjustable technology strategy in order to analyze and monitor goals. This is no easy task, as budgeting issues normally come into play. It’s their job to make sure that the technological measures your association uses are profitable. CIOs are responsible for decreasing IT spending, while making sure their organization’s tech efforts are as innovative as possible. If associations want to stay afloat, they have to embrace the constant demand for technology. It’s not an easy job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Since technology has become a key-link to a business’ success, the importance of a suitable CIO is crucial. Associations are now able to make their IT budgets more substantial, as they understand the need for these initiatives. If you think back to 10 years ago, the influence of the CIO was barely visible, if your organization even had one at all. Today, they are one of the most important executives in the association space. Becoming an organization’s CIO is now one of the most coveted positions in the business world. They are finally earning the respect they undoubtedly deserve.
It’s obvious everyone has their fair share of work-related challenges they face daily. But CIOs deal with a wide range of variables. As an executive, they are responsible for leading a team. Additionally, they typically are fighting the wrath of stringent budgets that strain their capabilities. Do you ever feel stressed about keeping up with the latest technologies and apps? Imagine how CIOs feel. Their livelihood is dependent on being coherent and observant of the most innovative technologies that will affect their entire organization. No pressure, right? While launching new technologies is important, they must also adjust their current ones. They must learn how to minimize the costs of their current systems, while aligning proper leadership to these functions. They are the first line of defense when it comes to your association’s technology.
If you’re not in the IT department, you may not formally interact with your CIO on a daily basis. If we’re being honest, you may not even know exactly what they do. However, the decisions they make directly affect you and your organization. Think about all the technological resources you use every day to perform your job. Chances are, the CIO fought to have those resources given to you. They are responsible for finding the best suited AMS for your association, which can affect your daily work-life. Whether it’s a marketing, communication or learning management tool, your CIO allowed them to make it into your organization. CIOs influence the business structure of your organization, as it’s their job to provide innovation on all fronts. Organizations would not be successful without their technological resources; therefore, the CIO must always make the best decision for the good of the group.
Years ago, people speculated that the role of the CIO would vanish. Companies would outsource their responsibilities to IT companies and all would be right in the world. That is no longer a viable option. The professional landscape for CIOs has changed tremendously in the past decade. Businesses now know exactly what they need from their CIOs. It’s becoming apparent that technology holds the key to success for businesses and associations, and it’s the CIO’s job to make it happen. Rather than re-visiting their technology strategy every 3 years, they circle back to it as often as possible. In the next 5 years, CIOs will continue to be the most innovative C-level executive in their organization. They will be forced to predict the future for numerous parts of their organization. Not only projecting the success of new technologies, but how their organization will shift and how employees will work. They will need to embrace the characteristics of an entrepreneur, as they will be dabbling in each department of their association. As the association space continues to evolve, CIOs will have to be adaptable to the changes. Since many CIOs work directly with their CEO, they have a tendency to move into that role at some point.
Whether you work for a large organization or a small association, you will always feel the effects of your CIO’s decisions. They may work behind-the-scenes, but they greatly affect the way your organization works. We believe it’s time to acknowledge their hard work and say “thank you.”
To learn more about the power of innovation, check out our whitepaper, Value Innovation Above All.