How does the CIO role need to evolve in the next 2-4 years?

2.9k views2 Upvotes8 Comments

Board Member in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
If you look at what's likely to happen in the next 2-4 years, I'm beginning to see an expectation for CIOs to speak the business’s language. I had a conversation recently with a pharma company that I've joined as board advisor. They said, "We invested in technology. Our CIO is part of the management team, but he always talks technology. How do I change that?" And I said, "You have to coach the person, he's not going to change just because you expect him to change. Unless you create a catalyst, it's not going to happen." Right or wrong, there are 50% of CIOs today who are very technical and 50% who have migrated to balancing technology and business. For the 50% who haven't been able to make that transition, I think organizations like Pulse, etc., need to reach out to them and give them a playbook that can help them get there.
Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
IT has rapidly evolved over the past decade due to all of the emerging technologies, and the way that we've changed the delivery of software through SaaS applications. As I'm sitting in this driver's seat for Go-to-Market Systems, I’m assessing and anticipating the needs of the company. I ask myself on a daily basis: do our stakeholders have the tools they need in order to be successful?
CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
Managing development is my main focus in the company. I have to look after the more traditional IT things as well, but with 40 people at the moment, it's a bit of a free for all. I'm trying to control what the CFO decided to purchase and plug in without telling us. At the moment we use 45-50 different SaaS products, which are plugged in; they range in size from small to large applications. So for us the challenge is trying to keep on top of it and make sure that we actually know what is happening, and where our data is going. With all the cross border EU, U.S. stuff, it gets very complex for us.
CIO / Managing Partner in Manufacturing, 2 - 10 employees
We're suffering from global supply chain issues. The latest one is that China is imposing a shutdown on big industry for a couple of days a week. It seems to be on pollution grounds, but we think some of it's actually about conserving power, because they haven't got enough electricity to go around. With all of these supply chain issues, I have to figure how they each impact our business, and how IT plays into that whole picture. How will we enable growth?

We've grown very rapidly from being a smaller company and are now about 550 people. Last year we shipped eight million parts; this year we're going to ship 12 million parts; next year we’ll ship up to 15 million parts. There are growing pains that come with that substantial growth, including a lack of structure and good project management processes. So part of my job is to start imposing some of these things that we don’t yet have. Fortunately the CFO—who I've partnered with on a lot of this—used to run process improvement in another company, in addition to being CFO. We're trying to gradually corral the company into being a bit more structured, and understand that they need some standard operating processes, they can't just do everything on the fly.
Director of Tech and Cyber Strategy in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
IMO I see two key things changing:
1. A greater shift to being able to translate the business value of IT spend; and
2. A greater need to master orchestration as more core competencies can be shifted to the cloud or outside parties.

Rather than saying it costs $x a year for IT that covers ABC I think IT has to see itself as a service provider that is no different than with any buy vs build decision. Leadership on the technology side will benefit from understanding what problems the business needs to solve and what piece(s) of the value chain should be completed internally and which rely on partners. With the former this means being realistic at what skill sets really matter and if you have the resources to make that happen; with the latter it means being cognizant of the added supply chain risk. That might mean saying it costs more to use more than one cloud provider but it’s cheaper than on-prem infrastructure—and the risk/cost of lock in over the long run will cost the business more than the benefits of a turnkey solution.
Sr. Director, Head of Global MCM IT in Manufacturing, 10,001+ employees
His/Her role will have a greater gray line between being a tradition CIO and a Chief Revenue Officer as more and more business depend on creative digital solutions to boost their business sales and become more profitable.
Associate Vice President & Head IT in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
The role of the CIO is increasing beyond managing Information technology alone. He is supposed to understand the business very well and drive innovation & integration projects. With the introduction of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation projects, his role has evolved from technical to the business facilitator. Removal of redundant business processes and continuous monitoring has become very important. CIOs needs to understand management priorities along with protecting business and increasing compliances. Security would be on top priority for CIOs for any organization at the moment to keep data protected and reduce risks. Integration and business process improvement will remain the top priority for CIOs. Managing expectations of management and providing the best user experience would be on the top agenda in coming years.
2 1 Reply
CIO, Self-employed

I totally agree with you. I have been tasked with optimization and digitization which was easy since I was able to understand the business and assist as needed.


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