If you’re a CIO, you’ve made it, the top of the IT tree! Still - whatever role we are in we need to continue to develop, not only to keep our skills up to date, but to be a role model for the organisation we work in.

One of the first things that challenges me is that not every CIO is included on the organisational board. And yet, having the CIO on the executive allows them to act as the translator between the board and the technology functions. They can speak to the operational deployment, transformation and integration of systems within the organisation. I’d be interested to know your thoughts; Should a CIO/CDO sit on an executive board?

Even with a career in tech, we know our skills and awareness are never completely up to date as technology is constantly evolving. For the executive team, it is even harder, since their worlds don’t always involve being deeply enmeshed in technology. For me, the support of the CIO is key to interpreting the use and benefits of technology to the business for board members.

Pulling together a successful IT department in any organisation is challenging. Whilst embracing constant technological innovation we also need to foster a passion for tech, an ethical professional perspective, and an innovative approach in our teams. This latter, depends on the different life experiences of our team members. Avoiding group think and fostering diversity is key when managing for innovation.

For you

Be part of something bigger, join BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

For many organisations, professional bodies like the BCS are the means to keep employee skills relevant whilst inculcating a professional approach to work. This becomes ever more important as we are faced with the uncertainties around the safety of systems, or around nation state cyber attacks or even the swift development of AI.

When I speak externally, I often encourage folks to take on voluntary roles to enable them to learn new skills. Amongst your IT teams there will be employees striving for board level success, but it’s not abundantly clear that we have the most suitable learning and development opportunities to equip them for future CIO positions.

So I would be equally interested in getting your thoughts on what you think is missing in terms of development opportunities to encourage and equip future digital leaders with the right skills to fill those roles. What can we do to provide for the next generation of very senior technology leaders? Let me know by emailing jenna.griffin@bcs.uk.