CIOs responsibilties are changing with a shift away from IT operations towards business and technology strategy. CIOs have to spend an increasing amount of time away from their desk and outside of the IT department. 

To be successful the CIO role must be aligned with the marketing and financial departments to create a digital vision for the company. But the transition is happening slowly. Only a third of CIOs have a 'very strong' communication with fellow departments, according to Harvey Nash.

A successful CIO needs to increase their leadership skills and align themselves with sales and marketing in implementing the same shared business goals. CIO UK looks at how a CIO can build a relationship with the sales and marketing departments in their organisation in order to drive success. Read more Why today's CIO is an integral part of the C-suite.

How CIOs can build relationship outside of IT: CIO role change

The CIO's role has evolved outside of the traditional comfort zone of managing IT, toward creating new forms of customer engagement.

The 2016 Harvey Nash survey revealed that 55% of CIOs believe their career will be outside of IT, in the next five years.

A CIOs role is transitioning and as well as managing IT they need to be visable within the wider organisation and beyond. CIOs expects digital revenues to increase from 16% to 37% with the development of new products and services to the business, according to Gartner.

How CIOs can build relationship outside of IT: Aligning with sales and marketing

In order to increase revenue CIOs must gain a better understanding of the business, aligning themselves with finance and marketing.

The communication between CIOs and the financial team is critical. They must work together, in order to reduce risks and avoid overspending on IT projects.

The communication can develop the CIO's understanding of what reports and financial information they need to make decisions on future IT projects. An insight into each department can maintain business value through the new technologies being implemented.

How CIOs can build relationship outside of IT: Marketing to the customers’ needs

Digital advances have seen business models evolve, with companies increasingly adopting a customer focus strategy.

A challenge for CIOs is that 23% of digital disruption is down to new forms of customer engagement, according to a recent survey.

Traditionally the marketing department has been in charge of enhancing the customer experience. Increasingly customer touch points are digital so the CIO must align with the marketing departments to adapt to the customers' needs. 

This technological evolution  has seen the CIO gain additional responsibilties in creating an efficient platform for users.

The shift in power has seen organisations and CEOs putting the customers at the forefront of their business strategy. The pressure a CIO is under is to keep up with the customer's demands and their growing expectations of technology.

Social media has become a great tool for businesses in increasing customer communication between the business and user. The instant interactivity enables customers to articulate their opinions and make decisions from the click of a mouse. The technological approach has changed the way businesses approach a customer.

Businesses have benefitted from communicating with customers, on how they find their overall experience and satisfaction on the products and services they have been using.

How CIOs can build relationship outside of IT: Keeping the customers happy

A challenge for the CIO is to provide efficient information to customers at a fast pace. To keep up with technology and meet customer's expectations a CIO can invest in IT projects which will increase the user rate.

Building a relationship with the marketing department can align the CIO in understanding the audience better, their requirements and where to develop new products.

The CIO's alignment with the finance and marketing departments means they all have a shared goal in making the business succeed and keeping customers engaged. A CIO has become a business leader with 67% of CIOs agreeing they have an influence in the C-suite. 

 The CIO's role has become diverse in building relationships with finance and marketing departments. The communication has led to a CIO maintaining budgets, overseeing IT and keeping customers happy. The additional responsibilties has seen the CIO overlap in roles in holding the business strategy together.

In order to succeed CIOs must get away from the desk and ensure they have good relations with other key departments in their organisation.