CIO or Chief Intelligence Officer is in charge of steering company’s IT manpower and infrastructure to accomplish business goals of the organization. He is leading all IT executives of the organization that has implemented IT for streamlining their business operations.
 
In spite of the amazing proliferation of IT in a multitude of modern organizations, only about 25 percent of these organizations have full time CIOs on their payrolls. According a recent survey involving C-level IT executives, more than 85 percent expressed that they are finding it difficult to balance challenges of security, innovation, and operational efficiency. 

One needs to identify the challenges and priorities in terms of performance related to IT departments and how CIOs need to optimize their IT resources for meeting New Year’s business objectives. 

Focusing on basics

In every aspect of business the basics are always going to remain the same in spite of technological strides in Information Technology. There has been a paradigm shift in terms of the tools and solutions with emergence of Internet of Things and associated technologies. The main role of CIO will be to bring about integration of the latest cloud technology and work basics. 

Following are the most vital challenges faced by IT departments:

• Lack of in-house skill-sets
• Procrastination in business decisions 
• Resistance to adopt newer technology
• Inadequate funding of new IT projects
• Crowding of deployments

It is the responsibility of CIO to choose the perfect set of solutions for accomplishing workloads and hence they must be careful while taking decisions as far as selection of solutions. They have to understand that the new and high performance solutions need not be too expensive. C-level IT execs should be able to use their IT knowledge and acumen to search for ways to finish the job by adopting economical and profitable means. This should be achieved by keeping in mind the need to deploy solutions that should be welcomed by users. 

Cultivate trust

The post of CIO carries with it huge responsibility of driving the IT department with an authority to implement new concepts, technologies and design new IT strategies to meet business objectives. The role requires extreme level of trust among all employees, peers, and customers. In short, a CIO needs to develop human value system. 

One of the most important roles of CIO is to evolve strategic business planning and establishing meaningful communication with Chief Executive Officers and business executives. CIOs need to keep themselves abreast of new technologies that can help them optimize or design profitable business processes and make strategic systems decisions. 

There can be no two opinions about importance of technical knowledge for the role CIO.  In fact, CIOs need to acquire creative business acumen I addition to sound technical knowledge. This transition from the realm of technical domain into creative sphere can be challenging for some of the CIOs who may not understand its importance or simply lack the interest. 

CIOs must acquire these skills to be more adept in taking strategic business as well as IT decisions. The core skill set of CIO cannot be said to be complete without development of business acumen that can help understand business priorities while selecting new technical solutions for the organizations. 

The time is ripe for CIOs to rise above the mundane job of overseeing internal IT operations and implementing cost efficiency to boost processes, competencies, and a culture that is driven by customer orientation. 

Thanks to the emergence of cloud computing, the IT departments have begun to open up to relationship development, team building, and innovation. The recent opening of Makers Lab at Pune by Tech Mahindra that aims at boosting co-innovation with customers highlights the shift of organizations from routine operations to more creative and customer-centric strategies.