EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
The challenges faced by Australian CIOs tend to be similar to those facing other senior executives . Attracting and retaining staff , keeping teams motivated , and delivering on customer expectations are the issues topping the typical CIO ’ s daily ‘ to-do ’ list .
Interestingly , though , it hasn ’ t always been that way . Traditionally , CIOs were hired for their technical prowess and focused their time on ensuring IT infrastructures delivered the support the business required . Staff management tended to be the responsibility of others .
Now , in 2022 , the role of a CIO has evolved . They are just as likely to be involved in people management as they are in a server refresh project . The CIO has effectively become the CEO of their organization ’ s IT department .
This evolution of the CIO role is particularly important when it comes to talent retention amid an on-going shortage of skilled candidates . It is the CIO who sets the culture and tone of the IT department and motivates staff to excel .
One of the most important things a CIO can do to help retain staff is to create a workplace that offers flexibility . With remote working now standard in the wake of the COVID pandemic , being able to decide where and when they complete their roles has become something many expect in the workplace .
Another important activity for CIOs is the creation of career pathways for staff . Individuals are more likely to join and remain loyal to an organization if they can clearly see how they ’ ll be able to improve their skills and rise through the ranks .
It is the CIO who sets the culture and tone of the IT department and motivates staff to excel .
their CIO is keen to join in and may be more likely to come forward with ideas and suggestions on projects and company issues .
Where once a CIO would have probably been relegated to an office adjacent to the computer room , they are now more likely to be seen roaming the corridors or joining in online discussion meetings to both share ideas and gain feedback from their staff .
The CIO ’ s role in attracting and retaining staff is critical and one that will continue to evolve in the years ahead . p
It should also be remembered that a CIO ’ s role doesn ’ t end at 5pm as strong teams also benefit from regular social gatherings . Staff will be motivated if they see
CRAIG SOMERVILLE , CEO , SOMERVILLE
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