Why CEOs Need to Think Like CIOs to Optimize Business and Workforce Capability

Adopting a tech-centric culture is essential to be on the top of the rapid advances in technology

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By Vishal Jain


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The recent 2018 Gartner CEO survey revealed that growth is the biggest business priority for organizational leaders today, with 40% of the 460 CEOs surveyed opting for it. However, the shifting perspective of achieving such growth has changed from employing simple means such as implementing greater resources to increase production capacity to undertaking digital transformation for optimization. CEOs are focusing on changing and upgrading the structure of their companies, and digital processes form a significant part of this upskilling.

The fourth Industrial Revolution brought on by futuristic technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics has made it necessary for businesses to undergo a massive cultural change. Technology is not something that can be gradually integrated any more, but it needs to be incorporated urgently in business operations in order to remain competitive. Companies are looking to become proactive than react to changes in the business ecosphere, and adopting a tech-centric culture is essential to be on the top of the rapid advances in technology.

Optimization through transformation-How CEOs are focusing on IT to bring comprehensive development

The survey reported that CEOs have continued to invest in IT, with 61 per cent of respondents expressing a plan to increase IT spending in 2018. Moreover, 62 per cent respondents also responded positively when asked whether their organization has implemented a management initiative or transformation program to make the business more digital-ready. Through these programs, CEOs reported to achieve the ideal balance of skill upgradation, work-culture transformation and overall business optimization.

Comprehensive positions

Globally, an increasing number of CEOs are visualizing their businesses as innovation pioneers. Thanks to this newfound desire of being seen as thought leaders, CIOs have started leveraging this sentiment by encouraging the CEOs to increase Research and Development budgets, focus on product innovations and make dedicated commitments to greater digital adoption. Additionally, corporate decisions such as partnerships, mergers and acquisitions are also being conducted with the view of "surgical integration' of experts in a particular field with the overall business, rather than overwhelming the smaller-in-scale specialists and making them oblivious post the acquisition. Their expertise is being utilized to attain a comprehensive leadership position in each service domain associated with a product or a service.

Budget allocation

As digital abilities of an organization begin to take centerstage globally, CEOs are increasingly becoming partial to CIOs demands. In fact, they have begun thinking like CIOs in crucial matters such as resource acquisition or annual budget allocation. The digital strength of a business and its workforce has moved on from being one of the factors of consideration by a CEO to arguably the most important parameter determining the survival of a business. However, CEOs need to be careful of not "bucking to the trend' by adopting superficial digital changes without conducting proper research. The decision to undergo a significant digital transformation should be founded in strong fundamentals, in-depth research of the business's need to transform, evaluation of the financial impact and its overall value addition to the business. CEOs should remember that massive digital transformation is often an irreversible decision, with a "no way back' rule that either pushes a business to climb greater heights of growth and success, or hurtles it down the crevice of failure.

Vishal Jain

Co-Founder, RoadCast

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