Possible removal of the “C” in the CIO role
There have been several researches done in the IT world that have sent serious messages across the IT world. There are warning signs to the effect that the CIO role could be undergoing major changes that may lead to a decline in the power attributed to the CIO post. The “Chief” Information office might be headed to a loose of the “Chief” aspect. Apart from McKinsey’s research, there are many other research works that indicate that all is not well in the IT sector with regards to major organizations. According to the 2010 PwC Digital IQ Survey in conjunction with CIO dashboard, half of the respondents said that more than 30% of the total budget for IT is spend on outsourced IT or IT done outside of the organization. For any sector of the organization to have power, they must be able to create new revenue as well as add value to the organization. But given CIO’s role has been primarily limited to being an infrastructure provider, and not value addition, then the role will definitely lose its power.
Some additional understanding the CIO post could help us see issues much clearer. The CIO is the only member of the executive team that has double roles as the CIO is both a staff executive who provides support to other departments of the organization and at the same time is line executive similar to Vice President of a department. This dual role could be responsible for some level of confusion among CIOs that has a detrimental effect in their performance.
Change of the “I” in their title
The irony of this whole situation is that technology is making very big contributions and changes in the world of marketing, and competition like never before. The massive energy and potential in mobile applications, social media platforms, massive data mining, online videos and data visualization can only serve to be a spring board to bounce IT to greater delivery.
Research done by McKinsey revealed that there are already shifting trends towards embracing the change that is eminent change. Some of the areas being given priority by IT include; improving on effectiveness of business processes, improving on cost efficiencies in business processes, furnishing management with relevant information for planning and decision making, creation of new products, cost reduction, and entering new markets among others.
IT changing trends in a bid to add value to organizations
All these are geared towards exploiting the emerging technological applications for value addition to organization. IT now has to supersede the need for information and use information to drive innovation for the business. Thanks to the new technology (massive data mining, analytics, and data visualization) massive data captured can be processed and presented in a friendly manner to inform management of the way forward for innovation of products and services. There is the possibility that the Chief Information Officer would turn to be the Innovation Officer. It may not be in writing but this is the very essence of the CIO’s office it has to remain relevant to the business.
Every challenge presents with it an opportunity; the bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity for growth. This is true of the challenge facing the CIO and IT in general. It is important that IT and CIO stand up to the challenge and deliver up and above the general expectations from the organizations and the clients.
If CIOs embrace the challenge before them, they are sure to attract more power and would greatly benefit the organization. Innovation would see all parties benefiting; the CIOs, the organization and the customers.
We urge all CIOs and IT as a whole not to fear for the loose of the ‘C’ but to counter this fear with boldness as far as exploring the new technology is concerned so that they are able to drive innovation.