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The Importance of Information Technology for a Company’s Growth

November 4, 2022

Many CEOs understand the role of technology and how it is critical for driving revenue growth, customer engagement and retention rates. However, they are still not taking full advantage of these disruptive technologies.

by Anthony Giagnacovo

Running a company has become increasingly complex due to disruptive forces such as new business models and agile competitors. This calls for CEOs to continuously search for ways to improve revenue-generating operations while staying competitive. One way to do that is giving more attention to the third leg of the stool: Information Technology.

In a world where technology is changing rapidly, companies need a clear vision of how they want their IT department to help them achieve their goals. To succeed, companies need a shift in mindset and culture — one that allows companies to move beyond traditional ways of thinking as it pertains to business IT processes. To be effective, teams need to work together towards more agile ways of approaching matters.

Who Is Responsible for Shifting the CEO Mindset Toward Technology?

Many CEOs understand the role of technology and how it is critical for driving revenue growth, customer engagement and retention rates. However, they are still not taking full advantage of these disruptive technologies.

For example, many companies are using artificial intelligence as part of their marketing strategy or customer service efforts. Others are using machine learning and AI to automate repetitive tasks or take over mundane processes that do not require human intervention — thereby reducing costs and freeing up employees to focus on more creative work.

Therefore, the CIO’s (Chief Information Officer) responsibility in influencing and facilitating the CEO is becoming incredibly valuable. The CIO can play a pivotal role and demonstrate to the CEO exactly how new tools have the potential to generate more revenue while creating innovative solutions.

In a recent interview, Patrick Heffernan, senior analyst at Technology Business Research, says, "We've seen a swing back towards IT as decision-makers as digital transformation starts to mature."

According to Thales Group, the role of the chief information officer is evolving from being a mere administrator to becoming a trusted advisor.

The group came up with the following findings:

Finding # 1: CIOs are beginning to focus on security through loyalty.

Finding # 2: CIOs need to recognize that security is a holistic process, not a separate function.

Finding # 3: CIOs will be expected to play a more integral role in the operation of their companies.

What Can CIOs Do to Change a CEO's Mind about Technology?

To change a CEO's mindset, CIOs need to find ways to show how technology can improve business operations and performance.

Here are three ways that CIO.com suggests CIOs can make their case and change a CEO's mindset:

  • CIOs should spend more time on activities that directly involve the customers. This requires them to communicate and collaborate electronically with suppliers or partners.
  • CIOs need to be able to communicate the value of their innovations to customers.
  • CIOs should encourage agile leaders who are willing to explore automation.

Jody Hoffer Gitell, a professor at Brandeis University says “They can’t just be good at IT. They need to understand what it takes to run a global organization.”

What Do CEOs Expect from Their CIOs?

The CEO wants to understand how IT can help their company become more competitive in an increasingly digital world by using technology to drive business innovation and growth strategies. There are four main takeaways from the ‘CEOs Look for Growth Opportunities in 2019 CEO Survey’:

  • Increasing growth requires a focus on diversification
  • Leverage dynamic geographies
  • Highlight technological expansion potential
  • Elevate the executive committee

CEO World also has some helpful advice for CEOs about what to expect from their CIOs. The site suggests that CEOs pay special attention to enterprise service management—a key area for which CIOs should be held accountable.

The solution? The CIO's role must move to value creation. This will inspire CEOs to give the CIO more power, autonomy, and resources and also improve customer service. It is with this new position that Information Technology will be able to play a more significant role in the corporate world.


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