The CIO role and the IT function have experienced significant change in their relatively short lives and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Disruptive trends such as consumerisation, cloud, mobile and social together with much better awareness and understanding of technology across all business functions are having a major impact on the role of IT and the CIO.
The maturity of the IT outsourcing market coupled with the availability of platform-, infrastructure- and software-as-a-service are gradually removing the need for IT departments to have large numbers of highly technical in-house resources. As a result the focus is shifting to how technology can be applied; identifying required capabilities, designing solutions and sourcing and integrating the required components are all important elements of how IT departments will add value in the future. This requires different skills in business-facing roles.
And with technology increasingly becoming a source of competitive advantage and, for many businesses, a direct source of revenue, this change in the role of IT and the need for business-facing and business-focused skills accelerates further.
As a result today’s CIO has to be more than just a technical specialist. They need a broader skill set covering operational management, transformation, board influence, communication skills, vendor influence, entrepreneurship and vision for both the business and technology. This broader skill set, combined with the ever-increasing importance of technology, means CIOs have an opportunity to broaden their remit and contribute much more than technical expertise to their organisations.
The CIO Leader promotes my view that today’s CIO is both a business and technology leader. It provides thought leadership on the evolving role of the CIO, the future of the IT function and how both can shape the future of their organisations.