Leading the Charge: The New Technology Champion


Security, networking, big data, and cloud. Mobility, productivity, tablets, and PCs. As an IT professional, you have a lot more on your plate than the days of simply managing a help desk. More than ever, IT pros are looking toward the future and learning to adapt to a quickly evolving digital environment. They’re forced to look at themselves differently and embrace social media in order to engage with their peers and stand out from the crowd as an innovative technology leader.

A Multitude of Challenges…

In the beginning of the year, CIOs found themselves at a peculiar intersection between a traditional technology officer and business influencer. In CIO’s “2015 State of the CIO” poll, over 70 percent of CIOs polled agreed that their role is a balancing act. In the same poll, eight other trends were observed, ranging from how CIOs felt they were perceived by peers within their company, to weighing in on IT skill shortages and needs.

On top of these challenges, CIOs are now additionally charged with preventing increasingly high-profile security breaches, overseeing the rise of cloud computing, and managing the changing landscape of enterprise architecture. IT executives are faced with the arduous task of ensuring customer data remains safe while also making sure the Wi-Fi keeps up with more devices demanding larger bandwidth.

So, how do you take all of this and suddenly become that new technology champion?

… In Which Lies an Opportunity

Instead of a CIO mired in an ever-increasing mountain of challenges, they now become what Bob Evans identifies as the digital disruptor. In his article, Evans states, “Every industry is going through profound upheavals as digital technology rapidly and radically transforms how capital is raised…”; this creates a need for the CIO to step in and assume a leadership role, as everyday products bring potential for engaging with technology and driving higher sales. He goes on to mention that this enables the CIO as a business influencer, customer advocate, tech visionary, and culture warrior. These new ways of thinking further allow CIOs to think about what their role can do to influence positive change and accelerate transformation in their organization, both of which social media can play a large role.

What This Means for Social CIOs

These opportunities also make an impact for you as a social CIO. As I previously mentioned in my last blog post, you should plan your social media presence and look to follow leaders that influence you. Take this a step further and start using your presence as a platform for engaging and networking with other social IT leaders, and talking about your expertise in your field. In his same article, Evans even implores IT leaders to ask themselves the right questions to position themselves as social champions, as he anticipates that “[w]orld-class CIOs will move to the forefront on all of these strategic social decisions in 2015.” Social media is continuing to be a more prevalent way of communicating and researching and I would like to think that this trend will only deepen throughout 2016.

Now that you’re ready to lead the charge as a new technology champion, stay tuned for my next blog where I’ll discuss what CIOs and other technology professionals can learn from other social IT executives.

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