The evolution of the CIO: an evolving role

Over the last couple of years, CIOs have transformed from managing functional and technology operations into strategic change agents, tasked with enhancing business growth. Chris Adcock, Managing Director of Reed – Technology, explores the latest developments in the role.

4 mins read
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2 months ago

Technology has become ingrained in almost every part of business life – no matter the industry or sector.

As employers have learned to survive in unstable market conditions, they’ve come to realise the value of having an innovative and business-focused chief information officer (CIO).

With technology advancing at an unprecedented pace, the traditional responsibilities of the CIO have expanded, with their role becoming increasingly important to the success of an organisation. In today’s business world, CIOs are required to not only manage IT infrastructure and systems, but also to drive forward and align technology initiatives with overarching business goals.

The changing role

Historically, the CIO's primary focus has been on overseeing the implementation and maintenance of technology systems within an organisation. However, as businesses have become more reliant on technology for their operations and growth, the role has evolved to encompass a broader set of responsibilities.

Today, CIOs are expected to be strategic business partners who are there to help enhance operational efficiency and leverage technology to create competitive advantages – maximising the return on the company’s investment in technology. In other words, it’s now essential for a CIO to focus not only on cost savings, but on using technology to add value and increase revenue for the business.

CIOs are now required to collaborate closely with other c-suite executives to align technology initiatives with overall business objectives, identify opportunities for digital transformation, and mitigate potential risks associated with technology adoption. It’s an exciting era, as CIOs now have the chance to be transformational leaders who can harness technological advancements and data to consolidate their tech stacks and gain efficiency.

Challenges in staying up to date

Staying current with the latest technological developments can be a considerable challenge. The rapid pace of innovation, coupled with the proliferation of widespread AI technologies, presents a daunting task for CIOs looking to stay informed and ready to address the potential impact these technologies can have on their organisation.

According to digital adoption platform, Userlane, and leading consultancy, PwC, almost two thirds of CIOs surveyed were concerned that the state of the economy will affect their digital transformation plans. But at the same time, 62% plan to deepen their investment in technology, illustrating just how important technology integration now is at leadership level.

One of the biggest challenges is offering digital services that are safe and secure for the consumer, which makes cybersecurity a number one priority for the majority of CIOs; their responsibility is to protect the systems and data that shareholders and stakeholders entrust them with.

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, CIOs must continually evaluate and implement robust security measures to safeguard their organisations' data and infrastructure.

Understanding the capabilities of AI

Given the uptake in generative AI across the workplace, it’s no surprise that AI is expected to shape the future of business. Large language models (LLMs) will continue to play a part in generating documentation on business processes, designing training programmes, and writing and rewriting code.

AI has been hotly anticipated by technology departments for a while, but has only recently reached a point where its potential benefits, capabilities, and enhancements, have become clear. CIOs are being asked to learn what AI is capable of and how it can be harnessed to competitive or strategic advantage across the business – similar to the adoption of any other technology.

More recently, generative AI is offering an entry point for companies looking to spearhead investment decisions. Rather than manually researching information, CIOs have the ability to use generative AI to summarise markets, telling them where to look and where to harness department energy.

Managing business needs

This transformation now sees CIOs juggling evolving responsibilities, to shape their departments. This requires a thorough understanding of their organisation's strategic objectives – helped by their c-suite role – as well as the ability to identify and prioritise technology initiatives that will best support those objectives.

As the role grows, it’s important for CIOs to develop and maintain strong relationships with other business leaders and departments, gaining insights into their challenges and opportunities, and leveraging technology to address them. As a company grows, so does the amount of data, which makes having an innovative leader and strong IT department even more essential.

We’re seeing CIOs steering the ship, promoting continuous improvement within their teams, while further encouraging the exploration of new technologies to drive meaningful change to stay competitive, relevant, and secure.

The sooner companies realise the true value of the CIO position, the better their chances of success.

To find a talented tech professional for your company, or to take the next step in your career, contact our specialist technology recruiters now.

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​In the past, workplace monitoring was relatively simplistic: employers relied on visual supervision and basic timekeeping systems, and the concept of privacy was limited.

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Improved productivity and deeper insights

With the advancement of technology, including GPS tracking, computer monitoring software, and biometric identification systems, surveillance can provide employers with detailed insights into employee activities and performance.

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Employee monitoring can also aid in compliance with regulations and industry standards. By keeping a close eye on electronic communications, websites visited, and files accessed, employers can ensure that employees adhere to data protection laws, maintain confidentiality, and comply with company policies. This proactive approach minimises the risk of data breaches and security incidents and also protects the company from potential legal liabilities.

Balancing surveillance and ethics

Despite the clear advantages of employee monitoring, it is crucial for organisations to approach this practice with sensitivity and respect for staff privacy. As a matter of course, employers should establish clear policies regarding monitoring practices, communicate openly with employees about the purpose and scope of monitoring, and ensure transparency in the use of monitoring tools.

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Are you wondering how to become a marketing executive? This article provides you with all the information you need to start your career journey.

What is a marketing executive?

A marketing executive is a key member of a marketing team and is often responsible for developing and implementing marketing campaigns to promote the company's products or services. They work closely with other teams, such as sales, product development, and advertising, to ensure cohesive messaging and strategic alignment. Marketing executives analyse market trends, conduct market research, and utilize various channels, including digital platforms, traditional media, and events, to reach target audiences and achieve marketing objectives.

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Types of marketing executive

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Digital marketing executive

Focuses on online channels such as paid social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

Brand marketing executive

Concentrates on building and managing the brand’s identity, including brand messaging, visual assets, and brand consistency across all touchpoints.

Content marketing executive

Creates and distributes valuable, relevant content to attract and engage target audiences, often through blog posts, articles, videos, and infographics.

Product marketing executive

Works closely with product development teams to understand product features, benefits, and target markets, and develops marketing strategies to drive product adoption and sales.

What do you need to become a marketing executive

Here are the marketing executive qualifications that you will need to obtain for the role:

Academic qualifications

While a degree in marketing, business, or a related field is beneficial, practical experience and demonstrable skills are often equally important, so a degree is not always necessary.

Professional qualifications

Many employers look for candidates with internship experience, relevant certifications (such as Google Analytics or HubSpot), and a strong understanding of marketing principles and techniques.

Skills and experience

Key skills for marketing executives include creativity, strategic thinking, attention to detail, and proficiency in digital marketing tools and platforms.

Marketing executive role and responsibilities

What does a marketing executive do? Well, the role varies depending on the organization and industry, but marketing executive responsibilities typically include:

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  • Conducting market research to identify target audiences, market trends, and competitors

  • Creating compelling content and promotional materials across various channels

  • Managing social media accounts and engaging with followers

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  • Collaborating with cross-functional teams, such as sales, to ensure alignment and integration of marketing efforts

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Entry-level positions may start at around $3,000 per month, while experienced and senior marketing executives can earn around $4,000 per month.

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As businesses continue to prioritize digital marketing and data-driven decision-making, the demand for skilled marketing executives is expected to remain high. Experienced professionals may advance to senior management positions, from senior marketing executive, content marketing manager, head of digital marketing, up to marketing director. Continuing education, staying updated on industry trends, and networking within the marketing community can enhance career prospects and open new opportunities.

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