What’s the future of the CIO?

I have a post up at CIO of the Future called ‘What’s the future of the CIO?’ which explores where the role of the CIO might go.

The post asks the question:

As IT leaders, do we want to continue to be chief infrastructure owners and order takers?

The established CIO role seems to be fading into the sunset, which is interesting as as technology has never been more central to a business’s ability to compete. One view that many senior business people seem to hold is that technology has become too important to leave in the hands of an infrastructure manager.

The shift from on-premesis solutions to cloud-based services is removing many of the traditional responsibilities of a CIO. At the same time the focus for enterprise technology has shifted from internal to external problems. Technology has been transformed from something we own to something we use. This transformation is breaking a lot of our assumptions on best practice and consigning many hard won skills to the dustbin.

In the post I talk about the journey many Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are going on, experimenting with new techniques and tools so that they can use social media as something more than than just a dog whistle. This is not a journey that the CIO can lead, as it is the CMOs of have the problem that needs solving. CIOs can, however, use this as an opportunity to carve out a new role for them and their departments.<

Few companies would consider doing without a CFO and finance department, as finance is central to resource management. Few companies will be able to do without a CIO and IT department, as IT is central to a company’s ability to engage the market and create new opportunities.

While the CIO role might appear to be in decline, this is also an opportunity for CIOs to get out of the back room, do something meaningful for the business and their customers, creating a much higher status role for themselves  in the process.

The CIO is the in-depth professional who can bring together the technologies and skills that the business needs to drive itself forward, to enable it to avoid problems, and to pounce on opportunities and adapt.

You can find the full article over at CIO of the Future.

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