The Transformation of the CIO Role

By Kevin Haskew, CIO, ON Semiconductor

The race to execute digital transformation is well underway and CIOs are at the center of this digital transformation.

In today’s business community, a CEO expects the CIO to lead and serve as a stra­tegic influencer and educate peer leaders on new possibilities enabled by digital technologies as well as key business trade-offs.

In light of these dynamics, CIOs must apply and lev­erage new evolved skills, models, mindsets and thought processes in order to be successful going forward.

“It’s also important to consider a corporate strate­gy, thinking style, risk attitude and a serviced mental­ity supporting the business teams,” says Kevin Haskew, senior vice president and CIO at ON Semiconductor. “The modern CIO needs to understand how all the pieces of the business are fitting together and how ana­lytics, organizational design, and infrastructure support global growth.”

As IT participates in more corporate strategy meet­ings, they can translate business initiatives and require­ments into information technology business solutions.

As companies think through digital transitions, it’s the job of CIOs to ensure leadership teams and under­stand that technology is not just an enabler to outcomes and also anticipating risks and providing joint solutions, inversely transforming how other departments collabo­rating with the IT and enabling the company to innova­tion and executing business more strategically.

As companies are more focused on using IT to in­crease market share and move beyond past emphasis on cost-cutting, modernization of the CIO requires the balance of two main objectives: operational improve­ments (delivering value-added initiatives that grow reve­nue and operational efficiencies) and risk mitigation (the cost of doing business).

“While new projects are ramping, we must still en­sure that the day-to-day operations are covered and also a check on the systems,” said Haskew.

The IT team is now involved in leading complex pro­jects involving new technologies, strategic partnerships, as well as multiple vendors. This is especially important for the semiconductor industry which over the past few years has seen a lot of merger and acquisition activities.

“A perfect example of the value-add and risk mitiga­tion projects running in parallel would be when we are integrating a newly acquired company,” Haskew said. “We have teams working on the integration of not only IT applications and personnel, but also working to es­tablish an end state for long-term business goals of the company, and at the same time ensuring legacy business operations during the process.”

This interconnectivity of priorities requires reg­ular communication between technology leaders and management.

Within a global company, IT is required (or often requested) to provide knowledge and technical exper­tise across every department and support the company through its digital transition by building relations to drive changes in systems, processes and establishing measurable business goals.

In becoming a key business partner, the CIO of the future will be accountable for what the business does not just how it does it.

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