Security and innovation driving transformation of the CIO

The increased prominence of technology in the workplace continues to shift the role of the CIO, according to new research.

In a study by Insight UK, 79% of business decision makers said their company plans to invest more in technology over the next year.

While the role of the CIO has traditionally been technology efficiency, over the last five years this has transformed into security (70%), cost-effective spending (57%) and innovation (52%).

A direct effect of the increasing use and understanding from the wider management team of technology, the CIO now needs to demonstrate the impact of IT on the bottom line.

>See also: The 4 new roles of the CIO

This might not be an easy task for the traditional CIO who, according to the findings, needs to evolve to maintain their role in the decision making process.

Nearly a quarter (22%) of senior directors surveyed said the majority of the technology budget should sit with the board.

Meanwhile over half (55%) questioned the CIO’s role below the rest of the senior management team, and 44% said the CIO is less important than they were two years ago.

“There is a real need for organisations, particularly the leadership teams, to ensure they are united,” said Mike Guggemos, global CIO at Insight. “The study gives a clear message to the CIO to act now and educate the wider business, or risk losing your role in the boardroom.

“CIOs play a vital role in the organisation, driving forward an era where businesses approach technology in a profound new way. Although this was reflected in the statistics, they are failing to showcase their value to the boardroom. Those who learn this language will continue to succeed – and play a vital role in the organisations of tomorrow.”

Further differences come to light when discussing the strategic importance of the CIO’s role. The research found the most business decision makers think their CIOs are focused on executional elements of the job, such as managing the IT budget and workflow, implementing large IT projects and ensuring IT equipment is secured against threats.

The only areas, according to the study, where most C-suite directors think CIOs have taken on more responsibility over the past five years is in implementing large IT projects and securing equipment against threats.

>See also: How CIOs can think like a football manager: identifying the star players

“In recent years, IT has transformed from a relatively functional area for businesses to the engine of the organisation, as companies look to understand the potential for intelligent technology to transform their business,” said Guggemos.

“In parallel, tech-savvy employees are adopting ‘bring your own platform’ services in the workplace. These developments have forced a systematic shift in the role of the CIO to the business, as we can see from the research, one that currently, other decision makers have failed to see.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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