Some claim that the role of the CIO is disappearing. Traditionally, CIOs were responsible for creating technology strategy and controlling the related spend across the entire organisation. Today, however, employees at all levels are beginning to drive and dictate IT decisions IT decisions and other CXOs are also taking a far greater interest in technology investments, such as CMOs purchasing solutions for campaign automation.
In fact, according to Gartner, decision making is moving away from board level to department level at an alarming pace, with Forrester predicting that ‘the share of IT projects primarily or exclusively run by IT departments will decline from 55 percent in 2009 to 47 percent in 2015.’ At this rate, it seems the traditional CIO role could really be at risk.
IDC analysts argue that the CIO role is still important and CIOs who evolve could even move into leadership roles. This evolution could come in many forms, but a key part of it has to be the shift away from a pure technology focus towards promoting the business benefits of technology. This combination of technological expertise and strategic acumen could help save the CIO from becoming a thing of the past.
Let’s take information overload as an example area. Big data may have been the IT buzz phrase of the past couple of years, but the reality is that many businesses across all sectors are still drowning in data. CIOs need to seize this opportunity to demonstrate how new areas of development, such as advanced analytics solutions, can help their business cope with increasing volumes of information.
Where CIOs can truly maximise their abilities is by taking a step beyond merely coping with today’s large and complex data sets and demonstrating how this information can bring wider business benefits. CIOs that see themselves as part of this new breed of CIO leaders as envisaged by IDC need to adapt and grow at the same rate as their constantly evolving enterprise. In doing so, they will find themselves in a position to instigate improvements and demonstrate exactly how effective information management can be in streamlining workflows, delivering efficiency and ultimately, enhancing productivity across the business.