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Technology Leadership Disrupted – What’s next?

Working from home

In this ‘digital revolution” we live in now, change is here to stay. Whether the business is ready for it or not, the tidal wave of technology is rapidly changing how we do business internally and externally. If you are in a leadership position within technology you are probably facing multiple obstacles and feeling pressure and demand from the business. Business models that carried companies to the 21st century are not the models that will carry or grow the business in today’s world. The pandemic ignited a fire that forced companies to evolve their mindset about how they are utilizing data, automation, and their employees.

In 2 short years, we watched business leaders who consistently shut the door on any remote work, be forced to open that door. According to Forbes, 74% of professionals believe remote work will become the standard. Companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack, and several others have begun to announce their remote business model to attract better talent. When we speak with CIOs and management, we often get asked “Are you seeing people go back to the office yet?” Right now we are seeing a mix of remote and hybrid work with very few companies demanding an in office presence from their IT staff to help with retention. From a candidate perspective, we can tell you that we constantly get asked if the project can be worked on remotely. The top talent has the option to be picky. They can work remotely for a company in Dallas, Austin, or anywhere else now that the landscape has changed.

So what’s next?

For many organizations, they are looking at the CIO to help generate more business value with new technologies and processes. Promoting employee count is a thing of the past. Companies are not boasting about how many employees they have anymore because they learned that they could operate more efficiently throughout the organization with the help of the CIO implementing new strategies and processes with technology. Many companies are transforming the business from the ground up while some had good momentum going into the pandemic and they are just adding to the plan that was already in place – it just got moved up quicker with far more urgency.

CIOs now have the attention of the CEO, Board, and Investors more than ever before. Like anything else in business, you have to take advantage of timing. For years, CIOs have tried to convince senior executives of the importance of modernizing the business through technology. This has traditionally been shut down with various reasons and an older mindset of business that worked in the past. As technology continues to spread into the overall operations of the business we have to ask ourselves “Is the CIO the new COO?

What to expect?

Expect increased budgets for the IT organization, more demands coming from the lines of business, and take more responsibility and leadership throughout the organization. We are beginning to see more management roles over each division within the IT organization to help implement new processes, procedures, and build KPI’s to manage the workload. Upper management wants to be able to track and measure progress. Since they can’t do that dollar for dollar they will want to see some kind of measure of success. Amazon lost money for years but Jeff Bezos had the ability to show the progress they were making and communicate the long term gains they would come to realize. Developing a KPI driven IT organization allows the CEO, Board, and Investors to feel more comfortable about allocating more budget to the organization. In 2021, all companies are technology companies, but they need someone in leadership to show them the roadmap and open the dialogue of what’s possible rather than what’s unknown.

Brent Fields
Partner

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