Big Changes Arrive in the C-Suite

It’s no secret that technology, data analytics, globalization, and other factors have completely changed many aspects of modern business. Supply chains are wider than ever, sales and procurement strategies are increasingly predictive thanks to advance data approaches, and more companies are outsourcing work and relying on contractors.

Amid all this, the C-suite has seemed relatively stable. A business might have a CEO, a COO, a CFO, or other executives, but they tend to focus on business processes within their domains of expertise. But increasingly, it looks like those widespread shifts in other departments have reached the C-suite.

Whether through collaborations or new roles, the executive level in many companies has been adapting to new realities. Here’s how they’re doing it.

Collaboration

The technological shifts and trend toward outsourcing have been a boom for bottom lines, but they have also made the nature of business decision-making more complex. Consider, for example, the role of a CIO. For years, information and technology managers chose and oversaw the implementation of network solutions for a company to use in-house. But now that many businesses hire outside firms to handle cloud storage, data security, and other essential IT functions, the CIO’s role has changed. Now they are having to think more about purchasing, contracts and third-party risks, like a CPO, and about strategy and long-term competitiveness, like a CEO.

As a result, the traditional walls between those positions have begun to break down. The CIO in the example above can’t move forward with new contracts or strategy without consulting their peers in the C-suite. Likewise, if a procurement officer or human resources lead want to implement new software solutions that can add value and intelligence to their departments—an increasingly common occurrence—they’ll benefit from consultation and buy-in from the CIO.

In a recent Deloitte poll, 85 percent of respondents said that increased collaboration among the executive leadership team is important or very important. It’s clear that if departments’ needs are changing and overlapping, leadership must follow suit.

Evolution

Increased collaboration is one thing, but some of the new challenges facing business leadership require entirely new roles. Data security, multimedia branding, digital content—all these responsibilities have grown far beyond anyone’s expectations a decade or more ago, and they have become essential components of any growing company.

Hence the rise of new positions like Chief Security Officer and Chief Digital Officer. A desire for competitive hiring has also led some companies to create even more innovative-sounding positions to entice top-level talent. Some of these are genuinely new, like Chief AI Officer, while others reflect a desire to reimagine traditional roles, like Chief Growth Officer instead of Chief Marketing Officer.

The bottom line is that your C-suite should reflect your company’s values and priorities. If innovation is a key component of your competitiveness, then your executives should be working together and finding every potential value or strategic collaboration that they can. And if you want to signal a commitment to new approaches or a particular subject area, then a new member of the team might be just the thing to send that message.

To learn more about the observations and recent trends in the procurement and sourcing field from SC&H Group, download this eBook, The 2019 Procurement and Sourcing Outlook. It explores developments that show where this work is heading and what kind of efforts will best position your department for the road ahead.

 
Patrick Gahagan, Director of Contract Compliance Audit Services at SC&H Group

As a Director in SC&H Group’s Contract Compliance Audit Services practice, Patrick has a few key professional motivations with all of his clients: increasing third-party transparency, optimizing supplier relationships, and improving governance. He works with Fortune 100 companies to evaluate contract compliance in categories such as marketing and advertising, contingent staffing, facilities management, construction, computer hardware/software, MRO, security, events, and office supplies. Projects under Patrick’s leadership have resulted in client savings of over $150 million in addition to practical control developments, valuable process improvements, enhanced earnings, and proven cost-savings initiatives. He is very passionate about helping to influence the operations and cultures of global enterprises, and one of his greatest professional achievements was being able to hand over a $1 million recovery check to his client.