February 26, 2019 | Written by: Roger Bales
Categorized: IBM Systems Lab Services
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Of all the C-suite roles, CIOs are under the greatest pressure to transform their organizations through digital reinvention and the adoption of emerging technologies. To stay agile and ahead of the curve on tech trends, ongoing training is essential for IT leaders today.
In addition to needing deep technical expertise, CIOs and IT managers must have strong IT leadership skills to help them gain competitive advantage in a fast-moving marketplace.
“There’s never been a better time to be a great CIO, and there’s never been a worse time to be an average one.”
— George Westerman, “Narrowing the Search for Exceptional CIOS”
IT leadership skills matter
Why should you invest in continuously growing your IT leadership skills?
To be agile, you must be constantly learning.
An eagerness to learn and to resist getting stuck in the status quo is a valuable asset in any field — and perhaps none more so than the rapidly changing world of technology. But skill development for IT doesn’t just involve improving technical expertise; it also means growing the leadership capabilities that will bolster your success in the IT industry.
Stay on the cutting edge of technology.
Leadership entails helping your organization to gain competitive advantage by embracing opportunities to integrate emerging technologies such as cloud, AI and blockchain. Tech conferences, online courses, and hands-on labs all provide opportunities for technical training, but leadership education is highly valuable alongside technical skills to help you be the technology visionary your company needs. After all, integrating emerging tech is a key responsibility for CIOs and IT leaders.
Improve operational efficiency and productivity.
Strong leadership helps organizations to be more effective at what they do. Through better governance and facilitation, you can help your business make the most of the resources you have available. Operational efficiency and productivity goals are likely central to enabling your business strategy, and an effective IT leader must be equipped to support these aims.
Boost your communication abilities.
Effective communication is a critical skill set for any kind of leadership, and in IT it has wide-ranging implications. Whether it pertains to giving more effective client presentations or creating a strong sense of collaboration with your staff, communication skills will be a boon to your success in IT.
Think strategically and improve human experience.
At the end of the day, technology should serve to meet human needs. Design Thinking is a set of tools for solving problems based on improving human experience, and it’s a powerful technique for IT leaders to employ to ensure their technology solutions are human-centered. This kind of strategic thinking is another way to improve outcomes for your organization by putting the human element of tech solutions at the forefront.
Increase customer satisfaction.
Closely connected to bettering human experience is the ubiquitous goal of improving customer experience. Designing personalized customer experiences has become a focus for many organizations, and IT leadership skills will help you leverage all the resources available to you to succeed in satisfying customers.
Ensure IT project success.
A lot of IT projects exceed budget and deadlines or fail to meet the intended outcomes. Effective IT leadership skills can equip you to increase the likelihood of project success.
TechU: The place to boost your leadership potential
IBM Systems Technical University (TechU) events provide a wealth of opportunities for technical skill development on IBM Systems solutions. In addition, we are offering a Leadership and Professional Development Track at the upcoming TechU Atlanta that perfectly complements the technical skills you can gain at this event. The Leadership and Development Track is specifically designed to help IT leaders cultivate greater proficiency in consultative selling, Design Thinking, communication, governance and other high-value leadership capabilities.
These leadership sessions are designed for CIOs, IT managers and other IT leaders to focus on important topics and best practices that we’ve seen to be the keys to IT project success. The curriculum includes lectures and hands-on practice, and it’s based on IBM Systems Lab Services’ proven expertise from hundreds of client engagements around the world.
Join us on the Leadership and Development Track at TechU Atlanta this April 29 to May 3, and keep an eye on upcoming TechU events around the world for more opportunities to grow your technical and leadership skills.