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The CIO role is changing. 

COVID has accelerated that change, but the function has been transforming for years.

These days, the role is about more than technology — it’s much more focused on revenue and engagement. 

Just ask Gamiel Gran, Strategic Business Development & Corporate Innovation Network — aka Mayfield Edge — at Mayfield Fund, whose career has led him to notice the massive transformation of the CIO role.

He joins me in this episode to discuss:

  • How COVID made CIOs the hero (and increased competition in the field)
  • Why CIOs are becoming more revenue-oriented (and how to help them get there)
  • Getting the CRO, CFO and CIO aligned and working together

“My whole career has been about listening — listening really hard,” says Gamiel.

Let’s dive in!

How COVID Made CIOs the Hero (and Increased Competition in the Field)

When the COVID-19 Pandemic began and everyone within a company needed remote access, the CIO went from important to essential superhero overnight. As with most situations, taking accessibility for granted is only realized when it’s taken away: 

  • Zoom capabilities
  • Collaboration environments 
  • VPNs
  • Online documents & notarization 
  • Telehealth
  • Education

In tandem with the shift to online, the exposure to a cloud-first, digital-first way of business created a competitiveness amongst peers. 

“I don’t want to walk into a DMV, I want to do it online. I don’t want to walk into a bank, I want to do it online. And if you’re not, I’m going to go to the next guy,” Gamiel explained.

All of a sudden, companies looked to the CIOs to help the company become faster and more productive — helping guide the company to the right product decisions.

Why CIOs are Becoming More revenue-Oriented (and How to Help Them Get There)

Approximately ten years ago, the CMO role began to take on more responsibilities: working with a bigger budget, more tools, and getting closer to customers. Soon, the CMO was leading the brand and brand strategy — begging the question of the CIO’s importance. The CMO was so close to the business while the CIO only understood the internal.

Fast forward to today — the need for digital infrastructure has strong-armed responsibility back to the CIO and has balanced their relationship with other roles. 

How the CIO and CRO relationship is evolving

With the CIO’s mission to provide heightened digital security and an increase to productivity, the company needs to be clear on its goals.

“In the end, the business unit should be really clear on what success looks like,” Gamiel explained.

Only then can the CIO suggest comprehensive strategies to the CRO — resulting in policy standard updates across the company rather than just a quick fix. 

Getting the CRO, CFO, and CIO Aligned and Working Together

The CIO gaining importance to the overall success of the company has created a need for the CRO and CFO to build stronger relationships with the CIO. But what can be done to align these roles?

Listening and Advice

Building up that relationship begins with listening to the CIO — ask probing questions about current approaches and goals being met. Then, once there’s a firm understanding of where the CIO stands, present advice on promoting information to the CRO, perspective on what CIO peers are doing, and how those peers are enabling the transition. 

Guest’s 3 takeaways

  • Always approach a relationship as if you need to bring value to it.
  • Optimise for long lasting, multi-generational business relationships.
  • You have two ears and one mouth: shut up half the time and listen twice as much to come across as more thoughtful and refreshing.

Get in touch with Gamiel about how the CIO role is changing on LinkedIn 

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

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