CIO pitfalls and how to avoid them! Helping CIOs align with HR and LoB.

May 27, 2019 Geoffroy De Lestrange

Did you know that 92% of all surveyed businesses are undergoing digital transformation?

In our research, we uncovered that CIOs across Europe generally agree on the biggest barrier to DX: cultural resistance. However, CIOs disagree with other executives on the impact of legacy IT as a barrier, citing lack of leadership as a key challenge, followed by lack of internal innovation. Often CIOs are not aligned with senior leadership when it comes to the digital vision and the pace of innovation within the firm, leading to gaps in perception and a mixing of digital priorities. In addition, while the wider organisation sees legacy IT as major barrier to DX, CIOs tend to rate this much lower.

That could be a major pitfall for the CIO, that is keeping a narrow view of the IT department and avoiding alignment with other executive’s view points.

This type of alignment and cooperation is very important since IT departments can positively contribute to employee happiness. This can be achieved by actively facilitating flexible working via IT initiatives such as better remote access to corporate systems, support for touch-based devices (phones/tablets) and collaborative employee tools. Often, the head of IT will focus on platforms and infrastructure, but they should also remember that the user interface is just as critical to the way employees work and maintain engagement.

Being unhappy with the tools supplied to complete key tasks can be a source of frustration and CIOs should avoid focusing on systems and platforms alone, when self-service and a better UX are just as important for employees!

Although 89% of CIOs believe that employees actively share knowledge with their peers and see this as a key characteristic of their work environments, many organisations have shown a lack of alignment between the IT department and the Lines of Business.

It is true that CIOs pay a lot of attention to the availability of personal development opportunities, reward packages, and the physical work environment. Yet, at the same time, CIOs often need to deal with changing skill requirements, which need to be developed, either by cooperating with the Training or Recruitment Directors.

Separating recruitment and development from IT needs, in terms of skills and capabilities can be a major flaw in delivering DX goals. It is also creating a narrow approach, thus missing an opportunity to align more closely with HR!

We all know that the wave of digital transformation has been putting pressure on businesses right across Europe. But how much do we know about the actual level of impact and the overall reaction to this pressure? In a unique new study, IDC worked together with Cornerstone OnDemand to understand how this is impacting organisations and discovered a range of different strategies being implemented to deal with some of these internal pressures. Whether it’s the availability of talent or recruiting for the age of disruption there are many new challenges facing organisations today.


  • Become the ‘digital evangelist’ for the organisation by encouraging business leaders to consider opportunities to optimise operations, augment digital services, or develop new revenue streams.
  • Address the “Legacy IT” perception issue by working closer to the CHRO and aligning on the service requirements for HR and employees.
  • Invest in tools that enable flexible working from remote locations, as this contributes to employee happiness and facilitates a culture of trust.


  • Don’t underestimate the impact of talent shortage in IT as an inhibitor for change. Work closely with learning and recruitment directors to ensure you develop the skills needed for the future.
  • Don’t stay isolated in your office! Connect with other teams; leverage your own best practice of regular performance reviews and mobility, and expand this to the entire organisation!
  • Don’t get stuck in traditional processes just because it's the way it has always been done. IT is going through a massive transformation with new ways of working and new responsibilities thanks to Agile and DevOps. Embrace this and involve the business by nominating "process owners".


[check out the results from the study here]

About the Author

Geoffroy De Lestrange

Product Marketing & Communication Director EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin More Content by Geoffroy De Lestrange
Previous Article
How Metso fuelled innovation through employee learning with Cornerstone
How Metso fuelled innovation through employee learning with Cornerstone

Like to know how @metsogroup fuelled innovation through creating innovative learning with @CSODEMEA? Find o...

Next Article
Getting the best for the best: Recruiting top talent in the age of disruption
Getting the best for the best: Recruiting top talent in the age of disruption

In order to get the best for the best and recruit top talent in the age of disruption, Alicia Roy brings yo...