Midmarket CIOs focusing less on technology, more on staff development

Executive roundtable discussions kicked off Boardroom Events’ Spring 2017 Midmarket CIO Forum yesterday in Savannah, GA at the Westin.

While discussing ways to build credibility with the C-Suite, one transformational leader floated the question to his peers: “Who still thinks of themselves as a technologist?”

“My job is to bring the team together with the strategy,” said William Van Winkle, VP and CIO at Argo Turboserve Corporation. “While I know about Dynamics AX, I rely on my AX guy. While my job started off as a technologist, it’s now about coaching, motivating and mentoring people.”

RC Woodson, VP of IT at Doyon Limited, echoed those sentiments, noting a significant shift in his role from simply providing technology to an enabler of staff to more efficiently do their jobs.

“We can bring new technology into the company, but we have to ensure that it works,” Woodson said. “As an organization, your credibility can take a hit when it doesn’t.”

IT staff development and retention have been trending topics of conversation among midmarket IT executives.

CIOs are constantly challenged to do more with less and attract top talent to their organization, much less keep them engaged about their work, according to Info-Tech’s Sean Burkett, who reports less than third of employees are enthusiastic about and challenged by their daily tasks.

Dan Roberts, CEO of Ouellete & Associatates, suggested the courage to say no to C-suite whims of S.O.S., or shiny object syndrome, was imperative for IT executives to build their talent brands.

On Tuesday morning, POPin CMO Brian Roberts added that the so-called entitled millennial worker is likely now a driving a new style of employee engagement and decision making. A lack of input leads to less understanding and more apathy, Roberts noted.

Stay tuned for more reports from innovative midmarket executives employing programs that encourage top performers to develop new initiatives from within IT that benefit the overall business…