IT shouldn’t be just a “consumable resource,” says Ed Giaquinto, CIO of Sectigo, a cybersecurity provider of digital identity solutions based in Roseland, New Jersey. “A crucial part of digital transformation is IT becoming an interactive partner with the various business units involved in normal day-to-day operations.”
Giaquinto spoke with StrategicCIO360 about how companies can make use of all the possibilities technology offers today, the role of the CIO and why it’s important to empower your team members.
As CIO, how are you leading your team towards digital transformation?
Digital transformation is imperative to every company and it is important that everyone is on board with innovation. To further drive digital transformation at Sectigo, we are in the process of applying metrics-based performance analyses to all functional areas of the business. The emphasis here is firmly on getting accurate measurements for tracking and visibility. How we apply these measurements, and the business decisions we make by utilizing that data, will depend primarily on the information that we have. From there, we can make informed decisions that propel our business forward.
I also think it is important to continually evaluate processes and eliminate legacy technology when needed. Legacy technology can be a major financial barrier that hinders our ability to follow through on a digital transformation strategy.
How do you lead IT and business teams to work together during digital transformation?
In terms of pairing IT and business teams for success, both teams must understand how integrating digital transformation technology into all areas of business can drastically change how an organization delivers value to itself and its customers. IT plays a critical role in driving digital transformation strategy, but business owners need to understand the value proposition digital transformation can bring, which may require some convincing. For digital transformation to be effective, every team must have a real data to measure, and a clear understanding of the story the data is telling. Embracing this requires everyone in the company to rethink the role and impact of IT in their day-to-day experience.
IT is often known simply as a consumable resource, providing services in response to requests. A crucial part of digital transformation is IT becoming an interactive partner with the various business units involved in normal day-to-day operations.
What advice would you give to other CIOs looking to implement similar changes to their organization?
Build a team with trustworthy practitioners and then trust them to do their jobs. As the leader, it is your job to strategize and communicate overarching goals to your team members. You can set them up for success, but ultimately, their individualized expertise will take your initiatives over the finish line. Your main concern should be that the people within your organization have the training and tools they need to succeed and stay secure.
Empowering your team members and employees to make strategic and informed decisions will ultimately make your workforce—and thus, your organization—better. Invest in and listen to your workforce and their needs. I would also advise CIOs to examine potential gaps where their knowledge and expertise can add value to the team’s overall success.
What do you think are the most important qualities for a CIO to have and why?
I think to be successful managers and leaders, CIOs need to let go of technical tasks and learn to delegate. When I transitioned into my first management position, a mentor of mine told me I had to decide between technical or management, because there is no halfway.
Both you and your team will suffer if you have too many pots on the stove—you cannot stop them all from boiling over. It is important for a CIO to be a good leader and mentor, but more important to know when to let go and trust your team to carry your initiatives to the finish line.
CIOs also need to be transformational. Static thinking leads to static results for the business. CIOs should be fully aware of emerging transformational strategies, and constantly be thinking of new ways to apply, twist and revise the strategies to provide value across all business units.