Niel NickolaisenNiel Nickolaisen delves into how IT leaders can lead their organizations through a transformative time in IT, while becoming stronger leaders, too.

Technology is disrupting the way businesses are run. Midmarket CIOs and senior IT leaders are being called upon to become agents of change in their organization. They must overhaul operations and help develop innovative products and services that businesses can take to market.

Niel Nickolaisen, CTO/CIO of Salt Lake City-based human resources consultant O.C. Tanner, believes IT leaders need to think about where they can apply new technology to change how businesses do business.

“That, to me, is the essence of digital transformation.”

Nickolaisen will expand upon these thoughts at the fall 2018 Midsize Enterprise Summit in San Diego, California.

Businesses going through a digital transformation are experiencing a seismic shift in how they operate. According to Nickolaisen, technology is changing rapidly enough to alter how businesses operate. IT leaders who want a bigger presence within their organization’s management structure must build their individual credibility, along with their teams.

“No one’s going to trust the future of the company to the gang that can’t shoot straight.”

A successful IT leader today is a business leader who knows technology. They’re not a technology leader, says Nickolaisen.

Midmarket CIOs must also maintain great relationships with their executive team to know how their group operates. CIOs armed with this knowledge can guide the executive team on what technology or opportunities make the most sense for their organization.

“For a long time, the business defined its needs and technology supported those needs. That relationship has now changed where the technology defines the opportunities that the business can pursue.”

“How do I become not just the CIO, but the chief opportunity officer or the chief possibilities officer?”

Nickolaisen says his team must influence the entire organization to guide the company into the future.

“That’s what drives me. I question myself all the time whether I’m doing the right things and doing them well.”

Midmarket CIOs and IT leaders have a great opportunity to take charge and insert themselves into the day-to-day operations of the business. This cannot happen, however, if these CIOs aren’t forward-thinking enough to look at how the organization will operate in the future.

My goal has always been to be at least a year ahead of the company. Because, otherwise I’m behind.”

For Nickolaisen, it’s imperative that IT leaders understand how to transform their team for their business to have success and sustainability moving forward.