How CIOs can drive innovation and empower transformational work


CIOs driving innovation: A seasoned worker sits at a table working on a laptop.

Today’s CIOs are like sports team coaches. It’s not enough for them just to prepare their teams for games and have a decent winning percentage. They’re expected to orchestrate imaginative plays that will make the most of a team’s talent and win championships.

Out-innovating the competition

CIOs are on the hook for a lot more than merely adequate IT infrastructure. They must drive digital innovation for transformational results, enabling organizations to generate new, market-disrupting products and services—and do it faster than ever. They must do more than help their companies compete—they must deliver competitive advantages.

“CIOs have a very business value-driven approach to the way they execute their job and speak the language of the business,” says Dan Higgins, global technology consulting leader for EY in a CIO article.

“More institutions are putting senior IT executives onto the board as a steering mechanism for the C-suite. That has given the CIO a different voice at that level, but it also raises a different set of shareholder expectations of the role technology has to play in transformation.”

Transform or go home

The 2021 State of the CIO survey from technology industry analyst IDG supports this assertion. Nearly half (47%) of the more than 800 IT and business leaders the firm polled said their CIOs are “transformational.”

According to IDG, these CIOs “cultivate enterprise-wide perspective and business knowledge, positioning themselves as trusted partners and strong collaborators with their function counterparts.” Additionally:

  • 28% of CIOs are viewed as business strategists whose perspective extends beyond the walls of the enterprise and whose mission is to drive innovation for the future.

  • 92% of those surveyed see CIOs as more innovation-focused.

  • 89% of survey respondents recognize CIOs as the primary advocates of digital transformation.


Changemaker for the playmakers

To be the changemakers they’re expected to be, CIOs must drive four business imperatives in their organizations. These imperatives represent the fundamentals or foundational strengths and allow their teams to focus on inventive, trailblazing projects that will lead to continuous winning:

  1. Automate and optimize service operations for seamless, always-on technology services that delight end users
  2. Accelerate software transformation by safely fast-tracking advance development and adopting leading-edge architectures and delivery practices
  3. Transform security operations by automating the collaboration of IT, security, and risk teams on data and processes for handling threats quickly and effectively
  4. Decrease costs and risks for software, hardware, and cloud resources by systematically managing the complete technology asset lifecycle


One platform for the win

With ServiceNow as a partner, CIOs can simplify this foundational IT with a single-platform approach. Watch the video to see a story about today’s expectations of the IT organization and the related challenges.

The story recounts life before ServiceNow and life with ServiceNow—where IT service operations, software creation, cybersecurity, and IT asset management are streamlined on a single platform so IT teams can focus on transformational work that can deliver huge advantages in the marketplace.


Discover more about how ServiceNow can help your organization deliver technology excellence.

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