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Stop Worrying About The CIO Role
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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
11/15/2013 | 5:25:06 PM
Is CIO Enough?
I'm seeing a higher layer of executives emerging responsible for more than just IT. At Dow it's Dave Kepler, CIO and executive VP of business services. At Conoco Phillips its Al Hirshberg, executive VP, technology and projects. These were both recent InformationWeek 500 winners you can read about, and both companies look at technology beyond an IT-department focus.

Maybe it's time to stop worrying about the CIO title as well as the role. We should consider the needs of all technology leaders, whether they're IT department leaders, marketing leaders or line of buisness leaders. On occassion I talk to CEOs who are the real technology strategy leaders while the CIOs are, by design, mostly focused on keeping the lights on. Technology leadership is not bounded by or strictly defined by any title.  The titles and lines of responsibility are clearly blurring.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/16/2013 | 1:15:25 PM
Digital CIO
Thanks for instilling a voice of reason on this subject. The CIO role will adjust in the next five years but this talk of the role going away is hogwash. It's really up to the individual CIO. The CIO who wants his role to stay the same as it was in 2002 will get boxed out. The digitally-minded CIO who will help define his company through customer-facing technology (web site, mobile app), manage cloud services and cloud/on-premise hybrid scenarios, and collaborate with other departments will pave the way. But as Chris mentions in the final sentence, those CIOs who can't harness all this to grow the business could be in for a rude awakening.
kburg070
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kburg070,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2013 | 10:48:07 PM
A More Complex Role
If anything the CIO role is going to be more complex & bigger, not less relevant, for the reasons Chris outlines. In the CIO "heyday" the job was big but pretty specific -- build and maintain applications, run the back room. There was some mystique because few in the enterprise really understood what IT (probably then called MIS or data processing) did. Today, not only is the job much more diverse in responsibilities, but there is much more transparency -- metrics, dashboards, deliverables, etc., no hiding behind the "black curtain" of technology.
macsgreg
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macsgreg,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2013 | 9:41:22 AM
Changing Role of the CIO
I'm not really worried about the role of the CIO because I'm not a CIO. However, as everyone is pointing out, there is a lot of change going on right now. If I were a CIO, I wouldn't be 'worried' about the way technology is changing the business. I would try to embrace the change and lead the adoption of the technology throughout the org. If the CIO resists, or 'digs in,' that is when change will happen without the CIO and eventually make that CIO irrelevant.


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