In many organizations, the CIO plays a pivotal role in enabling the enterprise to drive innovation and distinguish the organization in a fiercely competitive global environment.

But for CIOs who don’t yet have a seat at the table with senior leadership or those IT leaders who aspire to such roles, what are the steps that CIOs take to rise into positions of prominence, trust, and authority?

Given the dynamic nature of global competition, it’s table stakes for CIOs to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the business, including the key factors that are influencing markets and customer behaviors.

CIOs who are able to articulate the dynamics that are repositioning the industries they work in to fellow members of the senior management team and clearly communicate how the confluence of people, processes, and technology can be brought to bear to enable the enterprise to carve a unique niche in its market can solidly establish their status among the leadership ranks.

CIOs that have earned and kept a seat at the table are also able to foresee the direction that business is going in and help their companies to anticipate and in some cases lead market shifts. Consider the disruption that startup companies such as AvantCredit and Moven have had on the financial services industry. Or the impact that companies such as Uber and Lyft have had in the transportation industry. Or the positions that Amazon and Google have carved out for themselves in the enterprise IT services space.

Disruption isn’t driven solely by start-ups. Established companies such as Deutsche Post have been quick to act on the potential for using drones for commercial deliveries. HP was one of the first companies to jump into the 3D printing fray. Through its technology partnership with Instacart, Whole Foods has been able to increase its order sizes by 150 percent.

Since 2000, more than half of the companies that were in the Fortune 500 have either gone out of business or have been acquired. But CIOs and other executives who are able to draw on their strengths in leadership, innovation, and transformation have not only managed to avoid their companies being swept aside by the frenetic pace of change in business, they’ve thrived.

Of course, one way to do this is to identify how and where technology can be applied to gain a competitive edge. For its part, eBay filters mountains of ecommerce data that enable its data analysts to predict which products will be popular sellers in advance that the company is able to share with its business partners.

Given the incredible upheavals that are occurring in business, there’s never been a more exciting time to be a CIO. As Bhushan Ivaturi, CIO – Downstream &Technology Solutions, CIO – Acquisitions & Integrations at GE Oil & Gas shares in an HMG video, “For me, it’s really about seizing this moment to transform and drive change in the business. The disruptive nature of technology is really a blessing.”

CIOs such as Bhushan who are passionate about the opportunities that are available to them and act as catalysts for change in the business have an incredibly bright future ahead of them.

Key Takeaways

  • Digital disruption isn’t limited to startups.
  • CIOs must articulate how the confluence of people, processes, and technology can help their company differentiate itself in its industry.
  • Anticipate and enable the enterprise to act on market shifts before they occur.