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 Greatman 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.
One change is the transition from the individualist nature of leadership to a more-collective focus. The younger generation has learned consciously and unconsciously the lessons of leadership from an older generation that was taught to focus on the individualistic nature of leadership.
The future of leadership development will be the ability to create informal and formal networks and boundaries.
Just like knowledge has been democratized through social media, leadership will be democratized throughout vast global networks. Senior leaders will require the capacity to allow leadership to flourish as well as rein in any excesses that could cause risks to the organization and the culture.
We need to support the readiness of our future leaders to take on this mantle of collective leadership; however, they need a new vision of leadership. They need to create a different roadmap and pathway for “what” leadership might look like and “how” they can get there.
INFORMATION SECURITY POLICIES COMPLIANCE BEHAVIOR
Stahre (2016)) explains that employee 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. There are some factors that lead to non-compliance behavior event though users have given well information security trained but still make mistakes; these are cause by environment, social and organizational factor. If their work environment is stressful, this might reduce their attention and cause error. Social and organizational factors can influence them to comply and behave properly towards information security. If leader did not bother and care to follow the security rules and procedures, so do them. Therefore, it is very important that leader in the organization build up a positive security environment at their work place because it can help to increase information security compliance behavior, hence security incidents can be decreased.
It is believe that employees? security behavior can be controlled based on their perception of security threat and how this can help them to perform adequate secure behavior to reduce threat. Severity and susceptibility of employees are known to greatly impact security systems, with the influence of a good I.T leader in driving and influencing employees on the critical nature of the systems to employees.
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 if employees are aware of severity and susceptibility of information security threats, and aware of the benefits of security-countermeasure which can help to protect organization?s data and promotes their works, they will likely to avoid any improper security behavior. Thus, the following three research hypotheses were addressed.
? H7: Severity awareness influences users? information security policies compliance behavior.
? H8: Under the influence of a good leader, when users become susceptible, it creates adherence to information security policies. Barnes (2012)
? H9: How information security barriers influence the growth of an organization. Wrangh (2011)
Gantz (2011 ) explained that information security can either be heightened or compromised via leaders 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 lac 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.
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