The transformation of digital has led to a CIO's strategy evolving. For a starting CIO it can be challenging, with 67% of CIOs expecting their strategic influence to grow in 2016. Two questions when taking on the role of a CIO will be: ‘Where should I start?’ and ‘How can I drive success?’

Every company strategy is different depending on the sector and business model. There are four basic areas a starting CIO should start in implementing change and putting a dynamic strategy in place. CIO UK takes a look at the changing priorities and how starting CIOs should spend their first days as a digital leader.

Three priorities for a new CIO: Customer engagement

The old priorities of a CIO are declining with nine out of the top ten priorities having decreased in importance, according to Harvey Nash. The IT leader role is changing from operator to creator with the evolvement of technology. A CIO's strategy will be consumed by non-technical work with 20% of a CIOs time devoted to responsibilities such as business strategy.

In some respects the CIO is becoming the external face of the organisation. A modern CIO can be seen building and maintaining relationships outside of IT, with suppliers, customers and pitchers, in order to generate business value. The 2016 CIO survey revealed outward facing roles have become prominent for a CIO.

The first priority is to increase drastically by 15% customer engagement, while revenue growth, cyber security and improving business processes have also grown. The digital landscape has seen customers in control of the business. The customer firmly has the business model in their hands helping to shape the infrastructure. The first challenge for a CIO is to keep up with the growing digital demand of customers in enabling a great user service.

New CIOs must develop new technologies in order to find an efficient digital platform for users.  

CIO David Walliker at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Hospital has recently transformed the delivery offering an easier access to staff in medical data. The hospital will go from a paper-based to a digital information system improving the patient-facing service.This kind of project must be a priority for starting CIOs. 

The infrastructure has seen an alignment with IT and customers in finding a way to engage its users to provide a stable service.

Three priorities for a new CIO: Cyber security

Old priorities still remain important with cybersecurity being a constant challenge for CIOs and businesses to tackle.

The growing relationship between the CIO and CEO has developed a 45% increase in IT budgets.  A CIO can implement new technologies which will prevent cyber-attacks and threats.

Cybersecurity will be an ongoing issue with the CIO's responsibility being to ensure the company is safe from personal information being leaked.

Presenting to the board about the security issues the organisation faces will highlight how significant security breaches are.

In the wake of recent attacks cyber security has become top of the agenda for a CIO.  A recent example was the hacking of US site Ashley Madison.  A total of over 22GB was hacked with the company having their source codes, financial records and the email system being leaked affecting 32 million members of the site.

A CIO must find the balance to implement security to the organisation while teaching the board about the possible threats of security.

Three priorities for a new CIO: Business processes

Digital is changing the way everyone is thinking about IT. New technologies and digtal trends such as Big Data, cloud and data analytics have widened the business portfolio.

A starting CIO must find new ways to give the enterprise a competitive advantage in the challenging business world. The CIO role has become dynamic and influential in recent years due to the increasing reliance on technology in the infrastructure.

The modern CIO's business responsibilty and leadership skills have emerged in creating a digital vision for the workforce. A CIO is in an ideal position to influence change with more organisations implementing digital strategies.

Starting as a CIO is a complex and time consuming business. But focusing on these three key areas will get your tenure off to a good start.