Do you know what the characteristics of a successful CIO are?
The emergence of new technologies that directly impact on business organizations make the role of IT director (or CIO) one of the most important within the companies. The need to understand the business area, to know how to manage teams and calculate the return on investment of complex IT projects, make the CIO position one of the most challenging. Its main function is to be the bridge between the decision-making core of the company and the technology area. All business processes, nowadays, are supported by technologies that need to be available 24×7.
Do you know the main characteristics of a good technology director? What are the skills that this professional needs to reach the top of the career? This is what you will understand below:
01. Listen to your team
An IT director, as any leader, must be mainly a good listener. The final decision is always yours but it must be made by listening to every employee’s opinion, their difficulties and demands. When you listen to your team and allow the employees to state their opinions, you have a much better chance of avoiding errors over the work processes and finding innovative ideas.
But beware: it is not enough to be a good listener, you need to put into practice the demands that your team will present. A good leader is one who knows how to solve the employees’ problems and make sure that they have the necessary conditions to develop the best possible job. Not all the demands from the staff need to be met, but they must be responded with a positioning from the organization on the subject, according to their adopted strategies.
02. Never stop catching up
Constant updating should be all professionals’ goal, but for the CIO it is even more important. Good information technology management should always be connected to new technological trends, to always offer the best solutions for the company’s sectors.
A director’s daily routine can be time consuming, but always reserve a few hours to have training courses, read technology websites and listen to employees on new technology and management trends. The contact with suppliers may seem tiring, but it’s crucial to know new technologies. For this, the ideal is to schedule weekly day and time to contact suppliers, read the industry news and take courses.
03. Conduct time management seriously
A proper time management is critical to the IT director, since the routine of meetings, reports analyses and problem solving can be quite tiring. If you do not follow a rigid time management (with room for flexibility, of course), you may risk being lost in smaller tasks and devote less time to more important decisions. Prioritize!
The largest black hole for any leader’s time is the routine of meetings. Therefore, you should pay special attention to them. Set a precise time for them to begin and end and always have enough clarity about the agenda. The resolution of a meeting can never be “to set up another meeting” and for this not to happen it is necessary to define what the subject matter will be and what is expected for its end.
04. Use Big Data, but do not become dependent on it
Big Data is one of the major trends in the corporate environment, therefore it is critical that you embrace it. There are no limits for the results that can be achieved with the analysis of large amounts of data, but some care is necessary.
First, the obsession with data must be accompanied by good analysis tools, as well as people who can work well with large amounts of information. Second, decisions can not be totally dependent on Big Data. Of course, it grants better choices, but dependence on it can make decisions slower and prevent quick responses to market fluctuations. The use of Big Data is ideal for long-term decisions. For day-to-day decisions, it is ideal to use dashboards with indicators for the IT and business areas.
05. Communicate closely with the other areas
The IT department is a cog in a much larger machine, which is the company. Avoid the stereotype of the information technology department as an island that is difficult to access within the company or a problem-solver. The keyword for success is: integration.
And to be integrated with the other areas in the company, it is essential to understand what their demands for technology are, besides issues such as business strategy, marketing plan and financial projections, for example. As in the previous item, dashboards are an important tool to present and view the real-time indicators both in IT and other areas.
06. Avoid the intuitive management
Your experience in this field is very important, but do not be the type of manager who trusts only in their intuition at the expense of data and information brought by the employees. A good leader must be decisive and often has to choose among paths that seem opposites. However, always use your employees’ facts and analyzes to make these decisions.
Being a good IT director is a very difficult job that requires dedication. However, there are some traits that mark the most successful CIOs. Follow these tips and make sure you will be a much better manager!