The Future of the CIO Role (Chapter 12)

  • Compared with every other executive function, the CIO’s is the toughest to pin down and understand.

  • The CIO role is a future in which it exists but with a focus.

Chief Innovation Officer

  • CIOs have been driving productivity for decades. They got on the map, by making the business more efficient by automating some basic manual processes.

  • Then they began delivering communication systems.

  • With ERP, CIOs moved into the arena of business process change.

  • made good use of outsourcing for increased productivity & cost savings.

  • For each major evolution in the IT arena, CIOs have had to pick up different skills: technology, project management, change leadership, business process knowledge, and outsourcing.

  • For many CIOs, the next frontier is in business model innovation.

  • As companies are figuring out where to place innovation leadership in their companies, CIOs have the opportunity to take the mantle.


Chief Improvement Officer

  • With their program management and change leadership responsibilities, CIOs are ripe for the role of continuous improvement champion across the enterprise.

  • As more IT functions are outsourced, and business leaders get comfortable with reaching to the cloud for their technology solutions.

  • CIO are to be released from hands-on IT operations and free to make business processes across the company faster, better, and cheaper.

  • CIOs are working hard to add continuous improvement to their plates.

  • The next CIO will be focused less on pure technology and using technology to drive change to achieve organizational design and business process outcomes.

Chief Intelligence Officer

  • In this version of the CIO role, the “I” stands for the ability to take data and turn it into actionable business intelligence, whether technology is involved or not.

  • Many CIOs have evolved beyond the “I have a technology hammer, so everything is a technology nail” mind-set and now see their role as serving up information to solve business problems.

  • Part of the CIO’s role today is around stewardship of information.

Chief Shared Services Officer

  • The CIO role will be to manage an array of software and managed services providers to ensure security, support, integration, and efficiency.

  • The role will become more of a contract management function.

  • Chief Shared Services Officer is the destiny for some CIOs where they spend most of their time as operators, running infrastructure and data centers and large teams.

  • CIOs who excel at running IT as a support function, will expand their roles into other shared functions, like legal, procurement and HR.



Chief Technology Officer

  • CIOs are now focused on strategy, growth and external customers, as well as technology innovation.

  • CIOs are more focused on the actual technology than they have been in the past few years.

  • One version of the future CIO is the technical CIO. This is the CIO who is expected to be more wired into the technical community, to know how tools and standards are evolving.

  • This CIO will bring leading-edge technical competence to the table, which will help differentiate the business.

Chief Orchestration Officer

  • The future CIO as leading functions very similar to the strategy teams that are in companies now.

  • CIOs are forward-looking thought leaders in their domain, their role is as a conductor in the construction and integrity of solutions.

  • The CIO will evolve into the role of chief architect, who can see the future of how technology is changing the business and can be the master integrator of all of the moving parts.


Chief Engineering Officer

  • Today, every company is a technology company, whether its business is health care, retail, telecom, or financial services.

  • we are in the midst of a technology renaissance, with companies engaged in a products frenzy.

  • companies will need to reinvent their strategies with software-based products, they need a new kind of engineering executive to lead that effort.

  • In this “Chief Engineering Officer” role, the technology background that has always been a bit of a liability for a CIO (compared with a business background) is suddenly an asset.

Chief Product Officer

  • The future is bright for CIOs who have a background in business.

  • With most companies shifting to a focus on technology products and services, CIOs who have served in the business and in IT, will enjoy a wealth of opportunity.

  • CIOs who have experience with sales, marketing, and brand creation can ride the technology products wave into product or P&L management.




  • When technology innovation produces the need for new executive skills, it can take a while for companies to figure out where to put those executives and the functions they manage.

  • The CIO remains a critical part of the strategy team and a leader in making technology investment decisions.

  • Which role the CIO takes depends on many factors, including her credibility with her executive peers.

  • There will be plenty of need for executives who understand technology and how it makes a business better.



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