Driven by rapid advancements and integrations of new technologies and evolving business needs, the role of the chief information officer (CIO) is shifting from steward to strategist or revolutionary, according to a Deloitte survey of information technology (IT) executives in the United States.
Almost one-half (45 per cent) of nearly 1,000 IT executives surveyed said their CIO is viewed as a steward while another 45 per cent said their CIO is a strategist. The remaining 10 per cent claimed their CIO is a revolutionary — a percentage Deloitte expects to grow as technology continues to change the way business is done.
Among respondents who do not view their CIO as a revolutionary, 66 per cent said that to be a revolutionary CIO requires four critical skills — industry knowledge, business knowledge, technological experience and staff development.
“Two years ago, the goal of the CIO was to cut costs and keep the lights on. They were a steward. They protected current assets and worked with available resources,” said Suketu Gandhi, a principal at Deloitte Consulting.
Improvements in the economy and advancements in technology now provide CIOs (with) more tools and resources at their disposal, he said. Mobility allows employees and resources to be available at any location; social platforms facilitate real-time conversations; analytics provide virtually instant insights for better decision-making; and cloud technologies provide a platform for services to be delivered on a moment’s notice.
“These combined technologies give the CIO the opportunity to be an active strategist and decision-maker within their respective organizations and can allow them to be a revolutionary force. The CIO will increasingly have the ability to actually change how business is conducted.”
However, the perception of the CIO contrasts with survey respondents’ understanding of what IT’s primary contribution to an organization should be. Sixty 60 per cent said IT should facilitate growth and productivity — nearly twice as many respondents who believe IT needs to be a competitive advantage (36 per cent) for their company.
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