Embracing Emerging Technologies: How CIOs Can Stay Ahead of the Curve

by | Feb 14, 2023 | Professional Growth & Careers

EmAs a current or aspiring CIO, are you embracing emerging technologies to stay ahead of the curve? Your ability to stay ahead of the technology curve can make the difference between your company establishing the standard for high performance in your industry and falling behind the industry leader when it comes to adapting to rapid changes. Rapid technological changes require organizations of all sizes to address their operations constantly. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of organizations fail to stay ahead of the technology curve.

According to a recent study released by McKinsey, nearly 90 percent of the organizations polled understand their business models should constantly evolve as technology evolves. However, just four percent of the same respondents have made the required changes to their business models to accommodate rapid technological changes. Twenty-one percent of the organizations plan on integrating new technologies into their current business models, while more than 60 percent want to completely revamp their digital assets.

Why Should CIOs Stay Ahead of the Technology Curve?

The most obvious reason for embracing emerging technologies is to maintain the high level of performance your company has achieved. Ensuring data and files remain organized, as well as bolstering cybersecurity measures, can keep your organization on the right track toward meeting important business goals. Embracing new technologies also enhances communication channels, which improves how your team members interact with each other.

Another benefit of embracing emerging technologies concerns more of a professional perspective. When the day comes when you want to move on to a new professional challenge, staying ahead of the technology curve prevents your current IT-related skills from becoming obsolete.

Let’s look at five ways CIOs can stay ahead of the technology curve.

Professional Networking

Approaching rapid digital transformation by yourself can leave several large gaps in your technical knowledge. Although CIOs have access to information online, the most effective way to remain ahead of the technology curve involves networking with other CIOs. Attending live seminars and webinars can help you acquire the knowledge you need to remain current with emerging technologies. Networking with CIOs in your local area and connecting with CIOs from all over the world on LinkedIn should provide you with the insight you need to discover new technologies.

Other CIOs can alert you to disruptive emerging technologies as well.

Talk to Your Team

Another fountain of information regarding emerging technologies is located in the same building where your work. Members of the IT department should provide you with updates concerning newly adopted technologies that improve several business metrics such as productivity and the number of customer conversations. IT team members provide detailed explanations about the daily problems they face, which increases a CIO’s understanding of how new technologies have created operational issues for other departments in the organization.

Members of the sales team should be considered valuable resources for information as well, especially when in it comes to understanding customer pain points.

Devote Time for Research

There never seems to be enough time during the day to address business operation issues. Once a CIO puts out one technically-driven fire, another one quickly breaks out to consume more time. When the time comes to leave the workplace, a CIO has not spent any time conducting research on the latest technology trends and innovations.

One of the leadership skills CIOS must develop to expect positive results involves learning how to delegate responsibilities. This requires you to develop the technical skillsets in trusted employees to allow them to address technical issues that previously were your sole domain. Delegating tasks should free up more of your time to conduct research into emerging technologies.

Stay on Top of Tech News

Subscribing to at least one print and/or digital publication devoted to tech news can help CIOs embrace emerging technologies before they become mainstream digital assets for an organization. Publications dedicated to publishing tech news typically represent the first sources that promote the development of new technologies. Although a majority of emerging technologies do not pan out, reading tech news each day should help you discover technology trends that you can adopt for your organization before your competitors do the same.

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Back to School

CIOs have reached the pinnacle of their profession, but they have not climbed the mountain of knowledge. Enrolling in standard college courses and/or continuing education classes can help CIOs stay ahead of the technology curve in two important ways. First, the classes describe the type of technologies that lurk on the horizon for full assimilation into business operations. Second, most of the IT classes incorporate new technologies into the learning resources. This gives you a hands-on introduction to the emerging technologies of the future.

Check out some of the top cybersecurity certifications to boost your career.

The Bottom Line: Avoid Fads

As a CIO, you can expect to come across new technology tools all the time, but the key is to know the difference between a technology trend and a fad. A technology trend represents a popular IT concept today, that turns obsolete tomorrow. On the other hand, a new technology trend emerges as a viable solution to address one or more of your current IT challenges.

For more, check out some of the emerging technologies to watch in 2023.


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