Getting the chance to hear from industry experts about the challenges facing CIOs of large companies is invaluable. Also getting to hear about the challenges facing the senior-level, IT-centric attendees of the Enterprise Mobility Forum shed light on the “perfect storm” that has descended upon IT teams over the past five years.
Info-Tech Research Group articulates the five main issues that most IT teams are struggling to grapple:
3. Big Data
The impact of the cloud, in particular, has had a profound impact on the CIO. Why? Info-Tech made the argument that the CIO could go the same way of the VP of Electricity in the late 1800s. The argument is provocative because it equates the current IT role of building an internal infrastructure to support the activities of the organization to the century-old need for the IT function to provide the mission-critical power that the business needed to run.
The shift more than 100 years ago was the commoditization of electricity into a state-run utility, which rendered the role of VP of Electricity obsolete. The cloud, which allows much IT infrastructure to be hosted off premise, is the analogy to turn-of-the-century electricity.
Even though that argument is a bit dramatic, it sets up an interesting issue: what is the role of the CIO in the future? Info-Tech argued that it’s to be an innovation leader within the organization, requiring a formal process that makes you five times more likely to succeed. That process requires new ideas being brought to the table: innovation is creativity put into action.
So how can a CIO prioritize ideas that are generated so that the best ones are pursued? Info-Tech recommends doing a weighted average ranking of five factors:
Organizations that mandate the innovation approach even go as far to build the pursuit of innovative ideas into the budget (a 10 percent figure was mentioned). The biggest danger to CIOs is hiding and not confronting the new dynamics impacting the role.
Leveraging cloud solutions in innovative ways can not only prevent extinction but also vault the CIO into the category of innovation leader within the company. And that’s a role that never goes away.