IT organizations are in the midst of some revolutionary changes that are brought upon by digital technologies. While the earlier role of CIOs was limited to just build and operate cost-effective IT infrastructure along with automation of business processes, now they are expected to increase their focus on revenue growth, customer experience, along with data-based insight. Digital disruption caused by increased spends on cloud, e-commerce, mobile, analytics, and social has enabled CIOs to help drive strategy, innovation, and revenue growth. As the role of digital technologies in the business continues to rise, they are expected to deliver more value than ever before.
So, what exactly does it take to be a successful CIO amidst such change and transformation?
The CIO role has become more strategic and knowledgeable in relation to improving customer journey, experiences and services. For example, organizations that spends millions of dollars on digital marketing (which is primarily an IT function) often report to a CMO. They can always turn to their CIO to look for a better technology experience for their end users. Also, the businesses now have access to more data than ever before. A CIO can help transform that data into meaningful insight and help eliminate problem areas, speed up production and get more products to market in a shorter time span. The result is an increase in productivity and overall efficiency, leading to an increase in profitability.
CIOs are fast becoming central to business decisions, bringing in greater efficiencies and consistent innovation. They are being sought after to maximise productivity and promote the benefits of technology. For example, they can help to use disruptive technologies that can yield major financial benefits while continuing to improve internal processes and finding cost efficiencies.
The need for scalability, high performance, and flexibility has blurred the line between business and IT. The future role of a CIO would also be to understand how every department would be using technology tools and ensure a return on investment is achieved. Thus, driving the future success of the business.
According to a recent survey by Gartner at least 84% of top CIOs surveyed have responsibility for areas of the business outside traditional IT. Agile IT is the highway of the future. As more and more organizations recognize the strategic value that technology plays, the CIO role shifts from traditional to transformational.