C-suite partnerships – how can other c-suite executives help CIOs to fill the IT skills gap?

Gone are the days when IT decision making was the sole preserve of the CIO. Technology is ubiquitous now and employees across the business have opinions on which systems and services represent the best tools to get the job done.

CIOs who fail to engage with these employees risk allowing shadow IT to emerge. The results then could be catastrophic. Rather than the controlled introduction of applications, employees could choose to source their own technology solutions, with little regard for information security and data integrity.

The best coping strategy comes in the form of strong internal partnerships. Successful modern IT leadership is a team game, where senior managers across the business help the technology team to implement the best possible tools for the task at hand.

Digital transformation, as such, requires a change in mind-set. Agility becomes the watchword for business IT, where rapid iterations mirror the ever-quickening pace of changing business demands. CIOs must encourage cross-business ways of working for individuals, teams and organisations.

Rather than being focused on purely technical considerations, senior executives need to understand how soft skills are crucial for the modern IT professional. BCS research suggests digital leaders are focused on three key areas: management, business and security.

CIOs will only be able to address these gaps through a close working relationship with their c-suite peers. IT leaders must work with HR managers and other line-of-business executives to identify the IT services and skills they require.

By understanding the challenges these managers face, CIOs will be able to find sponsorship and financial support for the development frameworks they implement. The result of these partnerships will be a clearer understanding of future skills requirements and potential career paths.

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