How has the CIO role evolved?
Digital transformations, cloud migration and the movement to remote and hybrid workforces have not only elevated but broadened the CIO’s responsibilities to more of an advisory role.
According to International Data Group (IDG)’s “State of the CIO Study 2022,” 58 percent of workers outside of IT describe their company’s CIO as a “strategic advisor who proactively identifies business opportunities and makes recommendations.” That’s significantly up from 28 percent in the 2021 survey.
The study found IT still retains direct control over a good portion of the IT budget at most companies — on average, around 48 percent this year compared to 45.7 percent in 2021, and expected to increase to 57 percent over the next three years. Even so, 86 percent of responding companies said other groups or functions outside of IT organizations have their own technology budgets now and for the foreseeable future.
IDG wrote in the study, “In most cases, the department creates the short list and confirms with IT prior to purchase with the exception of executive-level administration, which makes the final selection based on a short list compiled by the IT organization.”
A Wall Street Journal article concludes that the arrival of cloud computing, data analytics and automation have enabled CIOs to leave software and other enterprise technology decisions to finance, marketing, sales and other departments. In doing so, CIOs have overcome anxieties over integration and security issues and are better focusing on data governance, compliance and other higher-level IT functions.
Jeff Wong, global chief innovation officer at Ernst & Young, told the WSJ, “The push to transform has stressed that companies that silo technology to their IT departments will be quickly outrun by competitors.”
Speaking to CIO magazine, Craig Stephenson, managing director of the North America technology officers practice at Korn Ferry, said that the blurring of lines between IT and other departments are allowing CIOs to take on more leadership or at least revenue-generation responsibilities.
He said, “It is likely a continuation of their current responsibilities, combined with several new challenges to further enable business value, enhance customer experience and the impact of integrated technology strategy across product, software, security and engineering.”
- Report: 60 percent of CIOs Say Tech Budgets are Increasing in 2022 to Improve on Cybersecurity – International Data Group (IDG)
- State of the CIO Study 2022 – Foundry/ International Data Group (IDG)
- CIO Role in Flux as Businesses Embrace Tech – Wall Street Journal
- Spring 2021: State of the CIO – CIO
- How to Evolve from Gatekeeper to Advisor in the CIO Role – Enterprisetalk
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see CIOs at retail taking on an advisory role or significantly more responsibilities amid continued digital transformation? Do you see more benefits than risks in having dedicated technology teams in each of the company’s business segments?