ROLE OF IT LEADER IN DATA SECURITY, SYSTEM COMPLIANCE, AND ITS FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP
Businesses fuelled by technology are rapidly changing with time, and faster than we can imagine Armstrong (2012). It will greatly impact growth and turn businesses around. Examples are: the innovation of new Business Models such as Airbnb and Uber, New Products such as mass production of electric cars (Tesla)
Years ago, people never thought technology will take a drastic turn in the design of new models, business processes and products. These, however cannot be achieved without the influence of a creative leaders, who as the capability and skills of managing great teams. An example is GitHub, known as the largest open source library in the world.
According to James J. Cribbin (2011), Leadership is “the ability of influencing a particular group in a specific time, inherent of particular traits, and with the sole aim of improving efficiency for organization’s success.
Centuries of in-depth studies have left research professionals wondering what makes a remarkable leader stand out from the rest. Hence some leadership theories were brought out as a basis for all inherent leadership attributes. Sijauw (2012)
The Great Man theory was discovered in mid-19th century. Great man theory is inherent from those who are naturally born leaders. They have the leadership trait in them and normally rise as successful leaders, Leroy, (2011). A typical example of a great man leadership trait was Gadhafi, from Libya whose leadership trait was intrinsic. This theory views the leadership as those born with that trait.
According the Wright (2012) the Trait theory is similar in some aspects to that of the Great man theory. In this theory, the leaders inherit some attributes like creativity, influential, intelligence, etc., that qualify them for some leadership roles in an organization. A typical example of a trait leader in the Technology world was Steve Jobs who through his remarkable traits created the Apple brand which till date reigns in competition to other gadget brands.
The behavioural theory on the other hand is completely opposite from the great man and trait attribute. This theory is of the fact that people can be made and trained into leaders, and hence are not born leaders. According to Packard (2011), this theory focuses more on actions of the leader rather than their mental capabilities.
Kearney (2014) argues that, the Contingency Leadership theory creates a leader who arises due to certain situations in a present environment in a present variable. Certain situation may call for different leadership styles and their decisions.
Transactional theories, also known as exchange theories of leadership, are characterized by a transaction made between the leader and the followers, Patton (2007). This theory takes the input of others into account. The leaders encourage communication and well-being among other members while at the same time, instilling a sense of security and motivation for the sole purpose of achievement of success and vision of a particular task.
According to porter (2012), the Transformational leadership theory is one of the only theories was proven sense of competition in the business industry. These types of leaders encourage participation and contributions to group members, while at the same time giving the members a sense of belonging during decision making.
Traits of Good Leadership in an Organization.
Bennis (2012) said, “A business short on capital can borrow money and one with poor location can move but a business short on leadership has little chance of survival”.
It is up to a successful leader to have the traits of communication, motivation, decision making, etc. to achieve an organization’s vision and give their members an insight of good shared leadership. Podsakoff (2016) says, a leader should make members feel their absence rather than appreciate it.
As a goal getter, the leader is responsible for the directions taken by his members. He should be able to delegate accordingly, while at the same time make sound decisions, and communicate effectively to improve upon efficiency in business operations. A typical example in Ghana is creative Hub’ a media marketing firm who incorporates a leader-friend- communicator- teamwork sense of style in his way of work to encourage and motivate teams, towards bringing in more contracts for the organization. Without good intrinsic and extrinsic trait, a leader is rendered effortless, Mackenzie (2010)
There are new technologies evolving each day along with new leadership styles, it is up to the successful leaders to continuously learn and improve upon existing relationships and performance, to achieve great competitive advantage in the market. . Apart from leadership traits, ethical mode of operations to improve efficiency showed not be brushed off by the leaders. Gebler (2014).
LEADERSHIP ROLE AND VIRTUAL TEAM MANAGEMENT
In today’s economy, forming virtual teams are not only efficient and saves cost, but also very effective and help promote an organization’s vision. With reference to research conducted over the years, employees who work in different location, but on similar tasks with one goal in mind are able to work more effectively and are equally (if not more) task oriented. (Malhotra et. al. 2007: 60).
Bass (2015) define the positive leadership in terms of the ability of the positive attitude of a leader like motivation, trust disciplines, on the follower in order to achieve successful organizational change. The need to supervise employees have both positive and negative potentials, as it determines the success of the organization as well as impact the employees will have on change, demands, control and environmental support (Harris ;Kacmar, 2006).
TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND LEADING ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
Leaders have the capability in instilling motivation and boosting trust and confidence in their employees. These positive attitude of leaders is called transformational Leadership. Harris ; Kacmar (2011) define the positive leadership in terms of the ability of the positive attitude of a leader like motivation, trust disciplines, on the follower in order to achieve successful organizational change, impact demand, control and environmental support.
The role of transformational leaders in the change process in an organization is their hallmark of incorporating from a personal discipline system, trust and loyalty in employees and improving on their sense of identity via communication. Though the relationship between transformational leadership may have complete difference, from a personal point of view, they appear quite similar when its industry related (Banerji ; Krishnan, 2000).
Leadership Functions in Virtual Team Management
Strong Interpersonal Skills and Exceptional Communication
Years of research undertaken by Kouzes (2015) on the introvert and extrovert personality types go ahead to prove that extrovert people are more likely to succeed in virtual environment and are extremely active, as compared to the introverts. This is due to the fact that, extroverts are super active in communication and despite their location, they are always finding modes of bringing virtual teams together.
Virtual team management is quite time consuming and it is up to the leader to effectively manage time to get tasks done with little or no supervision. Priorities need to be put in place, right decisions needs to be made and every task geared towards the goal. Technologies used should be well structured, in order to prevent micromanagement at every advantage.
The Future of Leadership Development
Traditional leadership development programs may not adequately prepare our leaders for the future.
• The stronghold of leadership will continue to flatten, thou, its requirement will be needed at every level of the organization.
• Kearney (2012) explains that Global enhancement of Technology will open up rooms for Organizations as well as I.T leaders to flourish due to the gaining of contracts and other partnerships.
• Existing business as functional knowledge will now change and serve for the strong purpose of strategic business thinking, adaptability and continuous with the sole benefit of success at various stages of business.
• Henry (2010) analyses and emphasizes that business leaders are not prepared enough for this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous rapidly evolving technology models. This shows, leadership skills and concepts will need to be upgraded to meet up with demands of the digital age. Change is known as a transition of a self-learned nature to a more complex and dynamic way of leadership. According to Roseburg (2011), the younger generation is more likely to survive and be successful in the change process, as they are able to learn more from the older generation and use their own learned innovations to change the environment.
A typical instance of modern and evolving knowledge acquisition is via social media as it has opened its capacity for education of news for all walks of life, and given businesses the opportunity of advancement and effective communications via incorporation of videos, etc. Bass (2015) explained that the rapid evolvement of technology pose a great risk to senior leaders as they will need to flourish their reign with enough skills and techniques for them to avoid obsoleting.
Leadership needs a new vision and members must be prepared to support them to continuously work to improve effectiveness in our daily lives, and be able to stay abreast and highly competitive in the modern evolving tefchnologies..
INFORMATION SECURITY POLICIES COMPLIANCE BEHAVIOR
Stahre (2016)) explains that employee has the choice to mainly compromise or raise the standards of information security threats in an organization. The decision to comply or not is mainly inherent on the abilities of the leaders and the training provided them, to upgrade their knowledge on information security processes, to enhance their behaviours. If behaviours of employees towards security practices become acceptable, security threats can be decreased.
Policy rigidness/ strictness, nuisance and lower userbility are among the many reasons employees to not comply to security standards. Also, when employees become dissatisfied which can obviously arise from various reasons like lack of motivation, the non-compliance behavior tends to increase and system’s security and organization has missing to establish such as optimum trade-off already in the system design phase.
Yukl (2013) supports the notion that, Social, Behaviour (both leader and employee) and organizational factors greatly influence information security and determines the extent to which users and employees take its training/ education seriously. For instance, a stressful and involving environment has the tendency to reduce errors and minimize security threats. The leader hence has the responsibility of following the rules/ policies of the organization to ensure that, organizational and social factors are impacted positively. Besides, what the team members see is what they directly imitate. It is hence essential that a positive security environment is built by the leader, to ensure adherence to security behaviour and reduce unforeseen incidents.
Bernus (2012) agrees and placed emphasis on security behaviours in employees and how they can be controlled via thorough security checks and heightening of system integrity a typical example of employee behaviours and security checks is that of the research Facebook explode where their system was compromised and almost compromised data integrity. Though not spelt out loud, the team put measures in place, and have heightened security since then. Facebook Company could have indulged in additional training for employees to heighten their sense of security, elude any dissatisfaction and change behaviour towards system integrity for a common goal towards organization’s Vision and overall success.
Information Security Awareness
According to Esaki (2014), when users understand the critical nature of severity threats, it is known as severity awareness. Meanwhile, susceptibility awareness, as defined by Rivard (2012) says that? perception towards probability of organization information of being exposed to information security threats.
Gershon (2013) believed that when an I.T leader starts putting measures in place to raise awareness of the impact of security threats to organizations, and taking steps like training of employees to heighten and change their behaviours from system compromise, employees will be willing to comply for the better. Thus, the following three research hypotheses were addressed.
The first hypothesis is of the view that security policies are affected by the compliance behaviours of users or employees.
Barnes (2012) gave a similar view to Gershon’s (2013) second hypothesis on the view that, under the influence of any successful leader, users easily adhere to Information security policies.
Wrangh (2011) also backs Gershon’s (2013) third hypothesis which emphasizes that the growth of every I.S. Organization is dependent on how information security barriers are effectively managed and the willingness of the users and employees to work together in the achievement of the goal..
Gantz (2011) explained that information security can either be heightened or compromised via leader’s perceptions of the system, which can easily be made efficient via good impact of the leader towards other employees. Unskilled/ Untrained employees really hinder security and technology due to lack of awareness. This hindrance in information is why employees never bothered to upgrade their skills in the company.
According to Hesselbein and Cohen (2011), Organizations whose transformational leadership are mostly inherited by young leaders, especially via virtual tasks are mostly highly competitive as these leaders take time in learning new approaches by combining the four I’s and become effective to the business world as well as have the capabilities in achieving success in the most difficult organizational change process. Bales (2013). The study also goes ahead to show how security policies and security measures must be put in place by leaders to ensure continuous growth and system as well as company integrity. It further analyses the need for training/ learning of our I.T leaders in order to meet up with the demands and environmental changes of technology.
• Armstrong, M. (2006). Performance Management. London: Kogan Page.
• Atwater, L. E., ; Yammarino, F.J. (1993). Personal attributes as predictors of superiors’ and subordinates’ perceptions of military academy leadership. Human Relations, 46, 645-668.
• Barling, J., Weber, T. ; Kelloway, E. K. (1996). Effects of transformational leadership training on attitudinal and financial outcomes: A field experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 827–832.
• Johnson, G. ; Scholes, K. (2002). Exploring corporate strategy. London: Prentice Hall. Pg. 12-14.
• James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, The Leadership Challenge: How to Get Extraordinary Things Done in Organizations, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2015, p.123.
• Robert J. House, “A 2016 Theory of Evolving Leadership,” in J. G. Hunt and L.L.Larson (Eds.), Leadership: The Cutting Edge (Mississippi’s University Press, , 2016), pp.189-207.
• (PDF) Managing and Leading Change through…. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320516417_Managing_and_Leading_Change_through_Transformational_Leadership_Insights_into_Success_Code accessed Jul 25 2018.
• C. S. Yap, C. P. P. Soh, and K. S. Raman, “Information system success factors in small business,” Omega, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 597-609, 1992.