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Why CIOs need a culture hack

Iyengar cites instances of clients where they’ve managed to make the two-officer system work well, often by having some common targets or joint responsibilities.

ET Bureau|
May 22, 2019, 07.22 AM IST
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While 37% of CIOs in India are responsible for business growth, 29% of CIO respondents ranked digital business initiatives as their No 2 priority for 2019.
CIOs need to bridge the divide between being technology leaders and business leaders if they want to drive the digital transformation projects in their companies. The Gartner 2019 CIO survey found that 100% of Indian CIOs were involved — to varying degrees — in business model change. While 37% of CIOs in India are responsible for business growth, 29% of CIO respondents ranked digital business initiatives as their No 2 priority for 2019. According to Partha Iygengar, research vice-president, Gartner, CIO respondents in India have all embarked upon their digital journey.

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“Most CIOs are expected by the management to help with the digital business transformation process, but challenge is that most CIOs are seen as tech experts while the management expects them to be a business leader as well as a tech leader,” he said. In these situations, it’s not unusual to find a dedicated Chief Digital Officer leading the digital transformation process and reporting directly to the CEO. However, it’s important that the two people then see eye-to-eye, or else it could have a detrimental effect on the business. Iyengar cites instances of clients where they’ve managed to make the two-officer system work well, often by having some common targets or joint responsibilities.

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Iyengar said that the CDO position is likely to be a transient one, which will probably not exist 5-7 years down the line as digital becomes the default. “As that happens, digital business transformation specific roles will go away. We may have two CIOs, one who would leverage technology for revenue and another more back-office technology role,” he said.
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