The duties of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) are ever changing, due to a number of factors. Some say that the advent of cloud computing is the culprit; others blame it on the struggle for dominance amongst other business units. No matter the reason, there is definitely a shift going on.
While some organizations question what place a CIO may have in their changing work environment, the position is still as important as ever. Whether he/she reports directly to the CEO or serves as a member of the Executive Committee, the CIO is the key individual that analyzes and rearranges business processes and defines the “big picture” of an organization’s information technology structure. In other words, the CIO is a major contributor when it comes to formulating an enterprise’s strategic goals.
Others are taking over these critical responsibilities, sources say. In his recent FierceCIO article, David Weldon gives insight on the new, senior-level positions cropping up that are in direct competition with the CIO. Tyler & Company Vice Presidents Julee Thompson and Stefan Werdegar have this to say regarding the matter:
Both Thompson and Werdegar agree that a number of organizations are creating chief transformation officer or chief innovation officer roles to work more closely with business units in driving change and innovation. So what are the CIO thoughts on this?
“I think it depends on the CIO, and where the organization is with technology,” says Thompson. “There are CIOs that very much appreciate their strengths, and their core focus is on getting the various technologies and software integrated and working well together. That is a critical role for the organization clearly, and there is a very clear opportunity there for CIOs that enjoy that type of practice.”
But for those CIOs who enjoy more of the strategic role and want to lead innovation, a very different skillset may be required, Thompson says.
Organizations are “looking for the CIO to be almost like a COO,” Thompson says. “I’ve heard this called the CIO version 2” (or CIO 2.0). “It’s the ability to bring the various stakeholders together and move them in a direction that may not be as comfortable for those stakeholders.
“They’re looking for someone who has persuasive understanding–they understand where the organization is now, where it needs to be, and they have the persuasive leadership ability to lead that transformation.”
For more information regarding CIO 2.0 role, see the full FierceCIO article.
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