October 24, 2017
The CIO is easily becoming the most dynamic and fast evolving position in the C-Suite. As businesses become digitized and move operations to the cloud, the role of the CIO becomes increasingly demanding and important. Several key factors contribute to the CIO evolution, including emphasis on cloud computing, innovation and strategic digital transformations.
According to IDG Enterprise, cloud revenues are expected to reach over $400 billion by 2020. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas) industries will expand and mature to keep companies running in the cloud. CIOs will need to own the procurement and management of these services. As operating IT moves to the cloud and is managed by third parties, CIOs will take on innovation and strategy in addition to running internal IT services.
Most businesses understand the benefit of technology driven growth. However, many venerable, established companies still get seemingly blindsided by disruptive startups and competitors that spearhead technological change. For larger companies, CIOs will work closely with board members to prioritize innovation at the top. They also need to ensure their internal IT infrastructure can handle growing business demands in the digital economy. This requires internal innovation.
Shift to Strategy
As CIOs play leading roles in digital transformations, their focus will start to shift away from servicing IT functions to just to keep things running. While information services and technology will always require maintenance and management, it should play a lesser role in the CIO job description. The CIO will focus on technology driven growth.
Automating operations will play a pivotal role in driving growth through technology. The trend in offshoring IT functions has plateaued. Automation will drive further efficiencies in operations that will allow employees to focus less on repetitive tasks and more on strategy and sales.
Digital transformations make up a key component of corporate strategies. In order to maintain a competitive edge, companies need to adopt and leverage a suite of technologies to prevent disruption from competitors and startups.
For example, machine learning can help companies better understand their current and potential customers to target marketing campaigns. Chatbots can assist with streamlining and improving customer service. Blockchain infrastructure can help secure and speed up contractual agreements. It is up to the CIO to determine which technologies will support and facilitate their company’s strategic initiatives.