The Current Evolution of CIOs

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Aug 26, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In IT, Candidate

Chief information officers (CIO) realize that their jobs are evolving as cloud-computing takes over the business landscape.

Instead of spending their time providing tech support, CIOs are becoming more involved in business strategies and decision-making activities on boards and committees. As their responsibilities continue to change, so do their titles. Now, "digital" or "technology" are inserted into their positions, unofficially becoming a Chief Digital Information Officer or a Chief Information Technology Officer.

Getting a Seat in Executive Committees

Information technology executives are reporting that they were involved in more strategic activities in 2018 than they were in 2015. A majority of executives were a part of their organization's executive committee in 2018, and that number increased from 2017. While the position isn't universal to companies, the CIO's job is changing at a rapid pace. 

Developing New Avenues for Growth

The CIO is being directed into avenues that involve using technology to facilitate growth and change in their organizations. Cloud services have helped businesses with analytics, which has helped them figure out highly specific ways to grow the bottom line. To belong to the world's top firms, innovation is imperative for companies to grow. These ideas for innovation usually come from executives tasked with strategy and implementation—often the CIO. 

Deserving the Salary Bump

With technology playing a vital role in growing businesses, CIO's who are usually the captain of the technology ship gets a good bump in salary. Companies are paying their CIOs more than in previous years, and this isn't only because of annual pay increases. The salary increases are for the added work that CIOs are doing. On average, CIOs are earning close to $300,000, while some tech execs even bring home millions.

Taking on Bigger Roles

As cloud providers are working to gather more customers in the enterprise marketplace, they are taking on the tasks that previously belonged to the CIO. Cloud providers are managing the software and platform by providing infrastructure support and maintaining operations. This leaves the CIO available for varied tasks that are business-driven, not necessarily tech-driven.

Struggles for the Changing CIO

Because of their affinity to the tech world, the business aspect of the role can be a struggle for some CIOs who entered the executive committee. Moving to the business world often involves working more closely with everyone from executives, management, front-line employees, and customers. However, many CIOs still get involved in day-to-day technology issues, especially those related to security and protecting sensitive data.

How the Cloud Affects the CIO

Cloud computing is everywhere, and CIOs who haven't worked with that model feel the pressure to move around it. Operating within that model pushes CIOs out of the tech department and into the business department. CIOs have to figure out what the business impact will be once their company turns to cloud computing.

One popular option for many businesses is to make the CIO a chief digital officer (CDO). With this title, the executive have more exposure and hand on business data rather than just implementing and maintaining technology. The other option is that the CIO simply becomes the CDIO to cover both the tech and business aspects of computing.

Innovation at the Core

The CDIO is involved in data and technology—from the thought stages of product development all the way to the endpoint where a sales clerk places it in the customer's hand. The CDIO analyzes how IT is involved at every level to find any possible way to add revenue and decrease costs. This pushes the CDIO to stay aligned to the business, noting how IT, AI, and any machine learning can keep the business flowing smoothly.

For the typical CIOs to evolve, they must continue to be involved in the speed of innovation in business and technology. To further this evolution, CIOs must stir company growth by ensuring innovation happens both in the tech end and the business end.

How ICS Helps with the CIO Evolution

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