CIO, crossroad, changing role , revolutionModern digital technology forces the Connected Enterprise to re-evaluate their strategy around the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Technology is becoming the key factor in the success of today’s business so why has often the CIO not a prominent role in the company’s long term management and business objectives?

The CIO has mostly an internal focus on the datacenter, the applications, the data network, internal applications laptops and other mobile devices. But here a shift is urgently needed in order to stay ahead of the competition, but even it looks simple, it is not consequently implemented.

Shift from technology to information

Now it’s the moment to change the role of the CIO from maintaining the technology into a true Chief of Information, managing the data as a company asset, just as the CFO manages the company finances.

Many departments develop their own technologies to stay ahead of the competition in their B2C and B2B market and often don’t talk to the IT department just to find out how IT can support them instead of re-inventing the wheel again. The CIO needs to become a vital strategic contributor and evangelist on the overall success that technology can and will have for the company.

Traditionally the role of the CIO was highly centralized as the purchaser of hardware and software and was responsible everything did work. The role of CIO did encompass all forms of technology used to create, store, exchange and utilize information in its various forms including business data, conversations, still images, motion pictures and multimedia presentations.

The modern CIO is not only responsible for this wide-ranging definition of information technology, but for the efficient functioning of computerized systems and the roadmap and strategy for all information technology as it relates to the organization’s ultimate innovation and success.

Top changes that are drivers for CIOs

The role of the CIO is now at a crossroad. In many cases decentralization tells the CIO management to adopt the consumerization aspects of IT in order to reduce costs and to streamline IT activities. But the pressure is tremendous as the CIO is not promoting change or is perceived as slow and not innovative with the result that the company is looking to outsource IT.  In the shortterm the easiest, cheapest and safest way is to stay on the same track: investing in IT feels counter productive. However this might be the deathblow for your company.

Shifting customer demands96%
Greater need for innovation/creativity95%
Increasingly complex policies/procedures95%
Significant growth of data coming into and distributed throughout organisation95%
Employee' need for organisation data when outside the office92%
CIO Insight, “How Shadow IT Transformed the Role of the CIO,” 2015

In many companies the CFO is dictating the investments, often not driven by IT, but by the business. The CIO does need more empowerment in the boardroom to turn this and move in the right direction at the crossroad, otherwise the overall successes on the long term will be gone and every department will have their own shadow IT teams and then we are back to the start of IT, many decades ago. Centralization does not mean that the business is not heard anymore. It should be a good cooperation and the visibility of the CIO does need to increase.

Bridging the gap

In this century the CIO should be able to bridge the gap and to allow his knowledge workers to get in close contact with the business. Often the new ideas are born at the workers level, not in the boardrooms. Not only the CIO’s daily job is to keep-the-lights-on he/she has also to act as the innovator towards the business in order to make the business more successful.

Universal communications and mobility, next to cloud, are the potential game changers for the CIOs. Both employees and customers do expect fast responses, thus the latest communication channels, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Skype have to be embraced, both internally as externally.

game changers cio

By working closely with MobilityWorks to set specific goals and parameters to help drive savings, flexibility, security, and ensure industry compliance, CIOs and their teams have the opportunity to bring more value to the overall success of the company, advising business leaders at a more strategic level. From here, CIOs must present this information to members of the executive team, thereby demonstrating a clear leadership initiative to drive greater success within the organisation as the ultimate objective

If you are interested to discuss this topic further and what MobilityWorks can do for your company, just contact us.