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Technology has become vital in boosting profits with the digital team becoming a key part of the organisation.

The increasing role of the digital team has seen 37% of CIOs spending less time on maintaining legacy IT, according to the 2016 BT report. The demanding responsbilities of a CIO has led to a reliance on the IT team in helping to drive innovation in the business.

CIO UK looks at how the CIO is reliant on their digital team to help drive digital transformation across the workplace.

Why a CIO should rely on their digital team: CIO's increasing responsibilities

The CIO role now encompasses a wide technology and business brief and this has led to greater opportunity with 47% of CIOs feeling they add value to the business.

CIOs are in an ideal position to take increasing control in developing their business skills. The CIO can influence their fellow executives in aligning the technology and business strategy in creating a dynamic digital workforce.

A CIO can engage and build a relationship with executives about the role digital is playing.

The 2016 CIO 100 member Andy Haywood at N Brown Plc regularly communicates with fellow executives about the digital projects they are developing.

Speaking as part of the 2016 CIO 100 he discusses how important it is to talk to board colleagues about work his digital team is doing.

He said: “Effective communication and engagement are very important to the success of what we are doing at N Brown.”

CIO Andy Haywood and his IT team are currently experimenting with a variety of tools and techniques in making the steps to drive a digital change.

He continued: “I have my own IT communications team, who support me by planning, preparing and delivering frequent, high-quality communications materials to the IT team and the business."

A CIO's role has gone from the traditional ‘keeping the lights on’ to investing in digital projects. This has led to a lack of time for maintaining IT. A CIO must rely on his digital team to help drive transformation.

Why a CIO should rely on their digital team: Expanding IT team

Digital innovation has increased roles such as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Data Officer (CDO), expanding the IT department.

In some organisations, a CIO can hand-pick their digital team in ensuring the necessary IT skills are present. The expanding digital department will demonstrate the employees' roles and capabilities with the team all working towards the same business strategy.

The emergence of roles has offered more support to the CIO who is now spending at least one day a week away from the desk, according to research.

A CTO’s role keeps up to date with the latest digital tools in the market which are suitable for the business. The tools can enable a CTO to support the company's strategy in creating efficient platforms and delivering them to users. In some organisations, a CTO can often support the CIO with IT content.

The role of a CDO is increasing with 90% of large organisations expecting to have a CDO role, by 2019.

A CDO is responsible for the data management within an organisation utilising data to drive insight into the business strategy. The role has led to supporting the CIO and providing a framework for their data resource.

CIO 100 2016 member Mariano Albera at Ovo Energy is the CIO and CTO of the organisation, often attending regular CTO orientated events.

Speaking as part of the 2016 CIO 100 edition Albera discussed how his crossover in roles has not stopped him from managing IT.

He said: “I talk and learn from everyone in my team, I code at least a few hours a week on the job and a lot more in my personal time, I don’t want to move away completely from the technical aspect.”

Why a CIO should rely on their digital team: Business leadership skills

CIOs are building relationships with other departments of the business increasing their business skills.

The digital team is all working towards the same shared goal. This is an opportunity for the team to increase creativity and motivate one another in sharing ideas.

CIO 100 member Neil Beckingham at Sypmphony Housing Group regularly engages with the IT team often making digital leadership a team sport. He discusses how the organisation’s IT team is benefiting from the regular meetings.

He said: “Each member of the IT team has a designated part of the group. At least one senior IT member is closely involved with every working group across the business. Each member of the entire IT team is tasked with spending at least two days a week shadowing an allocated role in one of the group businesses.”

Symphony Housing Group has already seen a benefit in their business strategy from the CIO's engagement.

He continued: “The result of this activity is a much greater level of engagement…in implementing a structure that can give shared visibility and metrics to the development (of the team).”

A CIO role is dynamic in creating a platform for their digital team. The IT department can support their CIO in collaborating and working together to reach the business goal. CIOs cannot steer the business transformation solely. The team’s leadership will make technology at the heart of the organisation with a CIO's reliance on their team being vital for innovation.