Last updated: 25.01.14

CIOs 'must' receive digital training

Chief information officers (CIOs) at British companies must step up and embrace the digital revolution if they want to compete with their contemporaries.

This was the view of a panellist at Civica's Annual Conference in Manchester earlier this week (January 22nd), who stressed the importance of businesses welcoming future IT developments with open arms, IT Pro reports.

With technology advancing so rapidly and consumers now able to do pretty much anything they like from their laptops, smartphones and tablets, firms must adapt to reflect the changing demands of the UK population.

In a talk based on the shifting role of CIOs, Brinley Platts, chairman of CIO Development, said there are five trends affecting people with this position: cloud, social, data, consumerisation and mobile.

He noted that if CIOs fail to keep abreast of these trends, they will face competition from heads of other business divisions within the same firm.

However, with the right training and opportunities for development, CIOs will not have to worry about their roles being undermined.

Mr Platts said: "If you have an ambition to become a CIO or a head of IT, you need to be skilled and get the experience and drive to win that battle."

One surefire way CIOs could boost their digital skills is by turning to online training, as this puts them in direct contact with IT systems and is a more flexible and engaging way of receiving information.

It allows them to take control of their own workplace education and be introduced to a range of online platforms that could boost their competitiveness against other employees, particularly those from marketing divisions who are likely to have solid digital knowledge.

Having e-learning resources could also increase a firm's chances of attracting talented young workers who want reassurance that their digital needs are catered to.

Microsoft's UK HR director Theresa Henry recently spoke about how important it is to be able to offer technology in the workplace, stressing today's young employees have certain expectations.