Six attributes of successful technology leaders
Six attributes of successful technology leaders

Six attributes of successful technology leaders

A new generation of technology executives are leading the way by rewriting the culture of IT

In this digitally-fueled age of the customer, the explosive growth of cloud computing, the continued rise in business-managed IT spend and incredible leaps in data analytics and automation, have all served to change the landscape of where technology resides and who has access and influence over it.

And in this environment, a new generation of technology executives are leading the way by rewriting the culture of IT. Structure is being replaced by fluidity, and control is being swapped for influence as business and technologists are finding new ways to collaborate and deliver business value.  All faster, safer, and more cost-effectively than ever before.

The 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, the largest IT leadership survey in the world, shines a bright light on six key attributes of successful technology executives:

  1. Value creation: They are fanatical about creating technology that makes a measurable difference to the top and bottom lines. They favor products over projects, and principles over practices.
  2. Influence: The real measure of their importance is influence, not budget or team size. They are comfortable with budgets being owned elsewhere and are advocates of open sharing over centralized control. They understand that credibility is built upon delivering business impact, regardless of how it’s built.
  3. Collaboration: Often seen as “servant-leaders”, their value is derived from the trust and partnership they have with the business and other technology executives such as the Chief Technology Officer, Chief Experience Officer, and Chief Data Officer. They drive community over hard lines, and encourage trust in teams versus individual performance metrics.
  4. Technology expertise: They understand that what distinguishes them is their deep understanding of the possibilities of technology, and work hard to keep abreast of technology developments both internally and externally. Leading executives are world-class advisors and seek to build that skill across their teams.
  5. Uncertainty (dealing with it): They are happy to start on journeys where the end point is not 100% certain. They can live with change and they embrace ambiguity. Senior leadership recognizes that the best ideas are usually born from necessity, and experience typically comes from making mistakes.  
  6. Reimagine the operating model: These high performing leaders recognize that the technical debt of tomorrow will be an organization’s operating model, not legacy platforms and systems. They champion the re-alignment of resources, technology, processes, and capabilities across the front, middle, and back office and measure performance of the team against business outcomes, not IT matters.

To read the full findings from the CIO Survey 2019 report and understand how digital leaders are outpacing their competitors in delivering real business results, please click here.

This is an update to an article that originally appeared in as part of a KPMG paid sponsorship with IDG Enterprise.