All members of the c-suite must guide each other through tech led change

All members of the c-suite must guide each other through tech led change

"I am a mere man of business and unfit to cope with such intricate and difficult matters. I do not possess the kind of information necessary; I do not possess the kind of intelligence; I want guiding," says Mr Lorry in Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities. The 1859 classic is a pertinent read for the c-suite as we launch headlong into 2019. A Tale of Two Cities details how a series of communities on both sides of the Channel are coping and struggling with a major transformation, the French Revolution. 

For the c-suite, 2019 will continue to see organisations grapple with technology transforming vertical markets, internal operations and customer behaviour. CIOs and CTOs will be leading and planning many of these transformations, but as we know from previous years, technology is also reshaping our organisations in ways previously not expected. Thus Mr Lorry's quote stands out as an example of how all members of the c-suite cannot be ignorant of "intricate and difficult matters".

Unpick Mr Lorry's quote and you can see the challenges that face CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and their tech peers the CIO and CTO, in becoming completely knowledgeable with each other's worlds and the technological impact on them. 

The most important aspect is Lorry's request for "guiding". Traditionally organisations saw IT as a service provider and the heads of IT, worked in a ‘take a request and satisfy it' manner. Any organisation operating this model in 2019 will find themselves quickly overtaken by technology-led rivals. All members of the c-suite need to be guiding one another as to what technologies they are witnessing, the new products and services coming to market and together they need to analyse how these impact their organisation. 

This guiding exercise will need to involve all members of the c-suite and everyone must have an intrinsic interest and curiosity towards technology, because without it, guiding will become misleading.

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Mark Chillingworth

Mark Chillingworth is a CIO and CTO journalist, ghost writer, moderator and advisor with over 11 years experience. From 2010 to 2016 he was Editor in Chief of the award-winning CIO UK. In 2011 he created the CIO 100, an annual transformation power list of the UK’s most influential CIOs and launched the UK’s first CIO Podcast in 2016.

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