I am often asked how my role as CIO has changed over the past few years with rapidly evolving technological advances, increasing regulation and therefore the constant need for brand spanking new and better information sharing. As CIO, I have even moved from attention on wires, hardware, and software to attention on driving strategy and creating the longer term . An enormous part of my role is to stay my eye on emerging trends and to tie people who are applicable to our mission, vision and strategic direction.

This enables the organization to require advantage of a good array of latest tools like mobile computing. With a fifteen-state footprint, having the ability to succeed in bent staff anywhere at any time is vital. Providing remote access to our tools enables our employees to figure more productively and with less frustration. We cash in of the latest collaborative communication tools in the video, social media, and other outreach mediums to succeed in customers and stakeholders within the mode that they like. Cloud computing enables us to save lots of dollars and spend our human resources on the very best needs. Awareness of the increasing cybersecurity threats means we'd like to push the envelope in using new defensive measures against hackers and to identify them quickly if they penetrate our defenses.

"As CIO, my role is to model—how to best match message with medium and encourage folks to satisfy more and email less"

Yet, with all the worth that the new tools provide, it's the private side of technology, communication, and leadership, where I spend a big amount of my time. It’s going to seem counter-intuitive, but I'm finding that the more technology advances, the more we'd like to enhance our social skills to affect the various issues we experience. 

To this end, we are spending time and resources to coach our IT professionals in communication and facilitation skills. With agile development, it's even as crucial to teaching people soft skills because it is to coach them on system skills. to the present end, my department started an all-IT book group, where IT professionals across our fifteen-state footprint, read soft skill books as a team. We escape in smaller teams monthly to possess smaller discussions, moving chapter by chapter. We are currently reading Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler.

Most folks in IT didn't choose this field, because we wanted to “get in-tuned with our feelings.” So I used to be unsurprised once I initially had tons of pushback from IT employees—wondering why we might “waste our time reading these things once we had real work to try to.” Yet, it's imperative; we all know the way to effectively navigate the emotions of others. Learning computers, networks, and support systems are often very frustrating and sometimes those feelings get within the way of our message of technology advancement. That's why I used to be pleased when, after only a few chapters, the feedback became overwhelmingly positive with comments like, “I use this reception and work; it's useful information. This book is actually changing my thinking and my life.”

Having a good array of technology at our fingertips means we'd like to know the way to use that technology wisely—ensuring the knowledge reaches the proper audience through the proper venue. As technology advances, people tend to interact less and e-mail and text more—even if they sit just a couple of cubicles far away from the person they're messaging. Helping them gain the comprehension of when to utilize which medium, ties into the human element of technology: email may be a great venue for direct information sharing on non-controversial topics. If the subject is harder or divisive, then the simplest format may be a meeting or a virtual video conference meeting. When conveying a message, only seven percent comes from the words, 38 percent from the tone, and 55 percent from the visual communication, consistent with the study by Albert Mehrabian. Within the absence of hearing or seeing visual communication, people fill that void with their interpretation, one which is usually considerably different from the intended meaning of the message. As CIO, my role is to model—how to best match messages with medium and encourage folks to satisfy more and email less.

The rapid pace of technology increases the necessity for an efficient change management approach. By our very role, it's often at the forefront of change. Taking the time to make a communication plan that permits for dialog is critical. People resist changing less once they understand why the change is required. Formulating the message to incorporate the “why” also because the “what” and therefore the “how” enables people altogether parts of the business to successfully navigate through the change. At WAPA, we require every employee in every a part of our business to attend change management training, in order that folks are reminded that we each run through change at different paces and also we'd like to acknowledge that others could also be during a different stage of change.

As CIO, I help to guide the organization’s strategic direction, ensuring that we always meet our mission. The amazing IT Professionals I work with a day must be responsive to—and better yet—anticipate the requirements of our internal business partners and external customers. This role has evolved from just keeping the appliance running on working hardware across a functioning network to a task of meeting the strategic organizational needs, now and into the longer term. I buy to figure with leaders inside and out of doors of our organization to figure toward that goal. Of course, if the video conferencing equipment doesn't work, yes, all eyes do still address me to form the magic happen.