Intelligent CIO North America Issue 29 - Page 33

EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
STEVE SANTAMARIA , CEO , FOLIO PHOTONICS

The role that IT leaders play in business decisions is continuing to evolve as the way in which we create , store , manage , protect and use information becomes increasingly tied to profitability and organizational success .

Along with this , due to our ever-growing digital world , many non-technical people within organizations have become familiar with basic IT vocabulary .
decision makers have in mind or have committed to . It is important to note that these may vary between the different decision makers and influencers .
After this , IT leaders are able to truly leverage their expertise to build and support how their proposed IT strategy will allow the other business leaders to achieve their desired outcomes and goals , as well as overcome challenges .
While this dynamic creates an opportunity for IT leaders to communicate more easily and more effectively , the responsibility remains on them to convey the significance of their opinions .
Then , the IT leader may or may not have to be flexible and negotiate a mutually agreeable strategy . Once a mutually agreeable strategy is in place , it moves to closing and handling any last-minute objections .
The most effective method for IT leaders to influence decisions would be to take notes from the sales department . Placing an importance on soft skills is crucial for any business leader in the modern age so they can have their initiatives / opinions heard and understood .
Indirect influence plays an increasingly important role in the decision-making process . Having soft skills such as communication , flexibility , negotiation and conflict-resolution will go a long way in any IT leader ’ s level of influence .
Lastly , following up to ensure the strategy is implemented effectively , meeting their expectations and allowing them to achieve their goals is crucial as it builds a mutual trust .
As a result , a shift in organizations can be achieved where IT leaders will no longer simply be in charge of keeping things up and running in the most costefficient manner . They can take their rightful place at the table as a trusted and valued cornerstone of the leadership team .
To take a step back , a typical sales process includes awareness , information gathering , presenting , negotiating , closing and following up . First and foremost , being aware of who the other non-technical business leaders are is the first step – i . e . identifying the decision makers , as well as the influencers .
Then , an IT leader should learn about their desired outcomes and goals that the other non-technical
Placing an importance on soft skills is crucial for any business leader in the modern age so they can have their initiatives / opinions heard and understood .
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