Today’s empowered consumers are reshaping fashion retailing by changing the way we research and buy products and services. To stay in the game, fashion companies need CIO leadership for a continually changing industry
As the champions of fashion's new IT reality in the omnichannel era, CIOs must not only make astute choices in the long-term interest of their organizations, but also inspire their teams and share their vision with all stakeholders.
Develop the vision
One of the foremost roles of a fashion CIO is to impart knowledge and a clear vision to the company. They must first deepen their knowledge of business trends and think strategically, before sharing their vision with other stakeholders. The ability to simplify complex technical concepts is key.
Establish credibility with peers
To successfully deliver on their mandate, they must possess the right core technical skills to interact credibly with their teams and help them achieve all they can. They must also be good listeners, in order to take all points of view into consideration and identify areas for improvement.
Assemble the right talent
Fashion CIOs must surround themselves with the right talent in order to spend less time on operational IT and instead drive strategy and transformation across the organization. This requires knowing which missions to delegate and which team members to entrust with tasks.
Get IT and systems in order
Before deploying new technologies, it is crucial for fashion CIOs to ensure that all technical prerequisites are met and adequate data security measures fully in place. Establishing the certitude of both conditions requires being open to review, and possibly external audits.
Build consensus company-wide
To bring their vision to fruition, CIOs must successfully collaborate with and win over individuals across their organization, including people over whom they have no authority. The ability to acknowledge and learn from mistakes is especially useful in situations of trial and error.
Continue to champion IT
To ensure long-term success, it is essential to stay up-to-date on current and emerging business issues. The CIO must actively promote IT as an enabler of demand, and not merely a supply function. Convincing key stakeholders of IT’s potential to expand the business requires above-average communication skills.
To help their organization prepare for future challenges, CIOs must transform collaboration, streamline supply chains, accelerate time to market and put in place the technical means to offer attractive omnichannel experiences. By making the most of their personality traits and interpersonal skills, they can win the support they need to fulfill their vision and achieve company objectives.
Now find out which three core skills are essential to CIO success.