Modern CIOs face intriguing challenges; how they respond determines their place in their respective industry's digital world.

The modern, intuitive interfaces on Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok used by technologically savvy business teams are contesting the prosaic and antiquated interfaces that have traditionally been a comfort to IT teams.

It is necessary to assist CIO/IT Heads in modernising and responding to certain critical business questions, such as: how can you turn your IT teams into an agile workforce balancing what the business wants amidst a changing technology landscape, increased security and governance restrictions and the always present push to cut costs? Are the solutions of the last two decades of outsourcing still relevant? How does the CIO transform himself into a Chief Digital Officer or Chief Transformation Officer? Doesn’t he need to transform his team first?

A modern CIO's approach to innovation

Getting out of the comfort zone 
Acknowledging a problem and being willing to change is the first step. However, this is easier said than done. If it is evident that your IT team is prepared to make improvements, then there are some essential pointers that can identify whether your team is receptive:

These are just a few signs that you can look for to check your IT team mindset.

Modernise technology and know-how 
Your IT team should have regular training sessions, their projects should be moving into modern application and technology stacks, and they should be talking about exploring cloud offerings from prominent vendors. More than any other department in an organisation, you should see your IT team constantly evolving.

Getting external support
Most IT organisations work to "keep the lights on", leaving little time to innovate. Instead, they should not hesitate to procure outside expertise when needed with a sense of security. Without these signs, an organisation roots itself in a static way of working. Budging them from the status quo would be a tough challenge.

Our experience working with several such teams has led to the opinion that there is a need to create a new team committed to digital innovation and aligned to business and organisational goals.

After successfully creating digital campuses for some of the world's leading brands, we believe that innovation requires out of the box thinking and people who are free from the clutches of organisational inertia.

About the author

Sriram Nagarajan has worked across the US, Middle East, Europe & India, both in Technology Consulting & Corporate IT roles. Having interacted with and seen the rise of the modern-day business user, he works with a C-suite team to help build Technology teams for tomorrow's modern businesses.