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How This CIO Transformed His Organization with IT

The role of CIO is to make IT a driver of business transformation. Like every CIO, James McPartland went through several challenges while digitizing a 100-year-old financial service company. In this article at the Enterprisers Project, the Torchmark Corporation CIO narrates his journey to Ginny Hamilton.

Making IT Relevant Again

Majority of the companies think IT is a department that fixes bugs in the computer. To change that mindset McPartland created a three-stage investment plan. He not only increased cost efficiency and standardized processes but also started generating revenues based on an IT platform.

Three Transformation Stages: McPartland named the 3 transformation stages as ‘Modernize,’ ‘Optimize,’ and ‘Pioneer.’ He first needed to change the IT mindset of taking orders instead of leading. He needed to break the existing IT image of a mere back-office support to an incubator of new ideas.

Convincing Influencers to Mainstream New IT Platforms: To make everyone adopt new digital platforms you must first convince the company bigshots. It would become easier for you to persuade the rest of the company. You can also showcase how early adopters of that technology have earned significant benefits to prove its credibility. Get the support of an important executive, like the CEO, whose authority counts in your digitization effort. Show them the expense and benefits side by side to get a digital nod.

Building a Cross-Functional Rapport: You must talk about IT in business terms and in a language which the C-suite executives understand. Translate your vision and let them see how they could benefit from the transformation.

Encouraging Talents to Explore: To make your workforce try out new things, encourage them to take up tasks out of their comfort zone. The company’s productivity would go down, but attrition will go up if you do not give them room to learn. As a CIO, it is your job to know who is ready to take those extra steps. Be ready to mentor them and help adapt to their new roles.

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Indrani Roy

Indrani Roy is currently working as a Content Specialist for CAI Info India. She has knowledge in writing blogs, product descriptions, brand information, and coming up with new marketing concepts. Indrani has also transcribed, subtitled, edited, and proofread various Hollywood movies, TV series, documentaries, etc., and performed audio fidelity checks. She started her career by articulating a knowledge base for an IT client, and, eventually, went on to create user manuals and generate content for a software dashboard. Writing being one of her passions, reading books is naturally her favorite pastime. When not lost in the world of letters, she is a foodie, movie buff, and a theater critic.

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