2 August, 2012
The days of chief information officers staying in the background with little or no influence over company operations are a thing of the past, as this role has been evolving significantly in companies worldwide.
Executive advisory firm Corporate Executive Board (CEB) reports seeing a renaissance in the CIO role, according to CIO Journal. As technology becomes more pivotal, organisations are increasingly looking to the chief information officer to make key decisions. This role is also assuming a wider range of responsibilities. CEB’s 2011 IT Budget Benchmark notes that a third of CIOs at Fortune 1000 organisations are getting involved in other areas of the business such as procurement, real estate, business process and analytics.
Accordingly, the required skill set of today’s CIO is changing. An executive search is now more apt to look to the ranks of business than IT for a qualified CIO, since this individual will likely be a member of the executive committee and lead conversations with the company’s board on strategy and growth.
CEB anticipates that within the next few years, still more radical shifts will affect the place of IT within companies. The move toward cloud computing, a transition from transaction processes to analytics and greater ownership of technology investments are all contributing to the importance of the CIO.
Another notable development is that chief information officers are beginning to partner more with chief marketing officers to drive growth. IBM’s recent “State of Marketing 2012” study concluded that, with the rising prominence of mobile advertising and social media, the two must collaborate in order to connect with consumers across new channels.
“Traditionally, CMOs and their CIO have operated on separate sides of the fence, but with big data emerging as a prized asset and the multichannel model gaining momentum, marketing as we know it is changing,” Yuchun Lee, Vice President of Enterprise Marketing Management for IBM Industry Solutions told Forbes. “Despite this mounting reliance on technology and soaring budgets, most CMOs lack the skills needed to handle these new IT functions.”