The CIO's responsibilites have increased in the areas of strategy and leadership. Changing business models have seen 40% of CIOs reporting as the digital leaders within their organisation, according to Gartner. CIOs have been given the opportunity to influence digital change in adapting the enterprise to drive success.

[Also read: How CIOs can influence the board and CEO | NHS Blood and Transplant Chief Digital Officer Aaron Powell discusses securing influence in the boardroom]

CIO UK shares its tips on how a CIO can use their influence and leadership skills to communicate technological change to executives.

How a CIO can influence the board: Teaching the board

The CIO's role has evolved with leadership traits such as great communication and influence traits that will set a CIO apart from their colleagues.The influence of a CIO has seen 34% of CIOs report direct to the CEO.

A challenge for a CIO is how to present to executives about the changes in technology and digital strategy. 

Digital has shifted the business model to more of a customer-focused strategy. A CIO should influence what projects and new technologies they are looking to develop on in creating an efficient platform for users.

A CIO can engage the board through creating targets and aims of how to get the customers on board. Presenting information through concise facts and statistics for business growth will drive the business ahead of competitors.

The CIO's influence will motivate the board in reaching their targets and increasing their understanding of IT.

How a CIO can influence the board: IT investments

The CIO can implement a technical strategy only by communicating to the board about the digital trends and current projects they are working on for the enterprise.

 The shape of technology is changing with 45% of IT budgets increasing.

 The leadership must understand how reliant businesses are on the IT department in creating revenue. The increase in technology has seen 63% of executives are interested in IT projects that make money, according to Harvey Nash.

A CIO can align the IT strategy with the business by explaining how they can make the digital process a success.

How a CIO can influence the board: Digital vision

The CIO's creative role has developed in bringing fresh ideas to the board.

A CIO can engage and build a relationship with executives by making the steps to explain the digital change. A CIO's influence is increasing with 55% of businesses adopting a digital strategy, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The CIO's leadership depends on the company’s specific needs. The CIO should focus on where the business is developing on whether it is cost saving, customer focused or security it is the CIO's responsibility to implement growth. 

CIO 100 member James Robbins at Northumbrian Water has been using drones to map the network, experimenting with augmented reality for customer bills.

Robbins speaking to the CIO 100 2016 discussed how how he faced his challenges of developing new technologies and implementing a digital vision across the business.

He said: “The biggest challenge for me is not the new technology but ensuring we connect it with the business problem.”

Northumbrian Water are currently finding different ways to share their business problems using techniques such as hackathons, crowd innovations and open innovation forums to encourage the executives to take a better lead for innovation.

He continued: “Our data hack in February uncovered several areas where we could create better value for our customers and road users.”

How a CIO can influence the board: IT talent

The executive’s knowledge of tech should be transparent in the hiring of IT talent.

Executives need to be aware of the emerging tech and how technology will adapt the business model. A CIO’s leadership will communicate a better understanding of IT knowledge for the executives and how crucial IT talent is.

IT talent is still the biggest challenge for CIOs with 22% of CIOs finding skills and resources as a barrier in achieving their objectives.

The hiring of new talent needs to have the efficiency and high level of IT performance to lead a dynamic role in the workplace. Executives should keep up with the evolvement of technology in recruiting talent as a platform.

Technical skills are increasing in importance with IT talent and leadership creating value for the business in achieving a competitive advantage.