Uncertain Times for CIOs as Roles Evolve

News Article - Thursday, 13 March 2014 11:55

By: Kerry Butters Category: Hosting

There’s been a lot of debate surrounding the changing roles within IT recently, especially with regard to CIOs, many who already find their job challenging due to constant redefinition. According to researchers at IDC, this is only going to increase as, "by 2018, adoption of 3rd Platform IT technologies will redefine 90% of IT roles.”

These 3rd Platform technologies include mobile, social, big data and the cloud, all of which have been growing at a blistering pace in recent years. For the CIO, this means that their job is set to become more about innovation, business intelligence and the customer, as well as a company’s online presence.

This innovation is vital to the modern business and the CIO will see job focus shift from being focused on IT and become an innovation partner, IDC predict. These changes will take place within the next two years and it’s likely, according to the researchers, that a massive 70% of CIOs will see their role changed.

Further to this, it’s also thought that 80% of CIOs in the consumer sector will have to integrate IT with social media by as soon as next year. This won’t be welcome news for many CIOs, as public social can be difficult to manage.

It’s looking increasingly likely that it will be a tough few years for the CIO, as: "There is more pressure than ever on the CIO to capitalize on the escalating digital opportunities for their business. Traditional, well-established business models are increasingly being toppled by more nimble and agile businesses created through digital innovation,” according to Alastair Behenna.

Many CIOs find that their job is very much focused on the IT side of things, such as deployment of new hardware, software and so on, and very few report that they are very involved in strategy and planning. However, for businesses that want to remain agile and scalable, this is something that is going to have to change in order to increase digital presence and innovation.

Forbes contributor Harold Baldwin points out that the changing role of the CIO is necessary as technology is also constantly changing. "Even though companies select CIOs because they’re comfortable with technology, a better method might be to select CIOs because they’re comfortable with uncertainty,” he says.

Bearing this in mind, perhaps employers and CIOs have to reconsider the role more carefully. Whilst of course a CIO should have technological knowledge, sound business strategy skills are becoming increasingly necessary for their survival.

Add to that the need to alter skill sets in order to incorporate digital innovation and ensuring a company has a strong presence and it’s not an especially easy time for the CIO. However, those that are willing to innovate and alter their approach are the ones which we’ll most likely see being headhunted and landing the best positions.

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