For any IT executive, not just C-level executives at a global company, it's important to foster a diverse workforce where everyone can reach his or her full potential. This means, first and foremost, creating a very level playing field in the area of recruiting in terms of diversity and of gender. In turn, this will lead to a more diverse leadership organization and a competitive advantage for the organization in a fast-moving marketplace. It's no longer just enough to have IT workers with strong tech and business skills, it's important that they understand the business and can partner with the business in different ways.
The biggest challenge to creating a diverse IT workforce today is finding the right talent. That means an organization has to reconsider how it approaches recruiting and not rely just on what's worked in the past. Historically, IT organizations have hired to fill a specific need. Now, they also need people who have the talent and potential to grow versus just a specific technical skill. It also means that organizations need to provide the tools, resources, and training to grow and make talent development a priority. Organizations also have to find ways to attract a diverse slate of candidates through the recruiting process. They still end up hiring the right person for the job, but by looking at more than that technical need, they can see a significant increase in more diverse hiring and people with higher potential.
In order to ensure their organizations are competitive, CIOs and other senior leaders have to focus on getting information to the people immediately and getting it to them accurately and securely. People still want accurate and secure information, but they want it sooner than ever before, and that's a huge challenge. They also have to prepare for the ever-changing needs of their customers. That means hiring talented people who can help the organization stay current. These individuals must constantly be doing research with the organization regarding infrastructure, what's happening, what's changing. The final takeaway is that, to be a good CIO, to be a good executive at any company, you've got to understand who your customers are, whom you're there to serve, and that means you have to learn a lot more about what's important to the customer.
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