Take a second to imagine what would happen if the internet went down in your office for a day. It would likely be a disaster, right?
Although it wasn’t the case just a decade ago, today, almost every individual is dependent on technology for their productivity. As our work habits are continuously disrupted by constant innovations, our reliance on gadgets and applications will only increase.
This shift is affecting every institution around the world, including public sector, not-for-profit, and for-profit organizations. As it does, every business leader needs to become savvier when incorporating technology into their teams and workflow. Because of this, it’s only a matter of time before each member of the C-suite takes on an entirely new set of responsibilities.
In fact, many C-level executives are already tackling many tasks that are far from traditional.
Here are five of the main ways that we’re seeing technology disrupt the C-suite:
1) Expanding The Role of the CIO or CTO
In the past, CIOs and CTOs were the key drivers of technology in their organizations, leading IT and engineering departments. However, now that technology touches every aspect of a business, all executives must be aware of its effects.
With that in mind, CIOs and CTOs are playing a bigger role in company meetings, as well as meeting individually with other executives more frequently to improve each department. In fact, more than half of CIOs already meet with their CEO at least once per week to discuss digital transformation and business goals. In these meetings, CIOs help the entire company implement advanced tools for automation, compliance, security, communications, digital marketing, and customer analytics.
2) CEOs Focusing More on the Customer
Although CEOs have historically been responsible for their company’s customers, it’s now necessary for every employee to keep the customer in mind. Value to the consumer must be delivered at all levels of business through avenues such as ethical manufacturing, intelligent branding and top-tier customer service.
This is due to the fact that technology not only transforms how our institutions create goods and services, but it also shapes how we make purchases as well. Today, customers are more informed and connected than ever before. In fact, 81% of people read customer reviews before making a purchase, and 60% of people consider those reviews to be their most trusted source of information on a product.
As such, the CEO must increasingly take on the responsibility of creating a customer-centered organizational culture. This can be done by leveraging data and consumer analytics to better assess what the market desires. After understanding this, the CEO must ensure that every department of their organization keeps the customer in mind as well.
3) CHROs Understanding Automation
As more tasks are outsourced to algorithms and AI, soon, organizations may be employing more robots than people. As such, CHROs need a deep understanding of how to integrate employees seamlessly alongside automated processes. This can require considering alternative employment models or hiring individuals with non-traditional skill sets.
Overall, the entire HR department must imbibe a culture of continuous learning in order to keep up with how technological advancements impact their staff.
4) CFOs Investing in Technology
Traditionally, CFOs were more geared towards the past, focusing on accounting and reporting. Now, CFOs have shifted their attention to the future, forecasting the financial viability of long-term investments in technology. They support the CEO's corporate vision and implement the tools necessary to drive and respond to change.
As such, CFOs are no longer the traditional accountant, but rather possess strategic critical thinking skills. They are on the front line of their organization, working with all departments to assess how new systems can generate a return on investment. Simultaneously, CFOs must deeply understand the security and compliance risks that can come with technological advancements.
5) Creating New Roles in the C-Suite
With technology expanding faster than ever, organizations are creating new positions to deal with the many new opportunities that these innovations create.
For example, now that newly-trackable data is driving corporate decisions and strategies, Chief Data and Analytics Officers (CDAOs) are recruited to help their organization’s members interpret complex datasets. Furthermore, Chief Artificial Intelligence Officers (CAIOs) are necessary as AI continues to become an integral part of society.
Other new titles that organizations are incorporating include Chief Data Officer, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Learning Officer, and Data Privacy Officer.
The people in these positions will be responsible for incorporating innovations such as automation, virtual and augmented reality and cloud computing. They’ll also pay attention to cyber-security, user experience and technology deployment.
The C-Suite of the Future
Overall, no one knows what the C-suite of tomorrow will look like. Rather than getting overwhelmed by all the different variables that technology presents, it’s best to simply assess the needs of your organization and find a C-suite structure that fits your long-term goals. As innovations continue to accelerate, organizations will be forced to adapt to remain relevant and competitive.
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