Why CIOs Need to Evolve in the Age of Digital Transformation?

by March 16, 2020


Earlier, the role of chief information officers (CIOs) used to revolve around managing and safeguarding businesses’ network perimeter, along with intellectual property and IT assets. However, with the evolution of new-age technologies, the conventional technology leadership roles have been changed and responsibilities that would often come under in a CIO’s purview have been shifted to other executive roles. In a KPMG report, the number of CIOs sit on the board is dropped from 71 percent to 58 percent in just two years. But their influence remains intact, with 66 percent perceive the role gaining influence compared to 65 percent in 2018. Thus, with this digital transformation, here are some major disruptions that have an immense impact on the role of the enterprise CIOs.


Cloud Computing

As data is rising continuously at an unprecedented rate, the use of cloud computing is playing a key role, altering the technology landscape around the world. Along with hybrid, multi-cloud, microservices and containers, DevOps has gained rapid traction across IT businesses, integrating and streamlining software development and IT operation. With this, as infrastructure and applications are no longer dispersed, businesses don’t need the CIO to manage server setup, code deployment or other previously manual IT tasks. This is one reason most traditionally CIO-level tasks have been reallocated to CTOs who have the resources and cloud infrastructure that runs their applications directly.


Information Security and Privacy

With the growing concern about security, data privacy and compliance, most of the businesses have taken major strides towards it. Previously, the role of CIOs would responsible for all aspects of data security and privacy in the enterprise. However, this is now shifted to CISOs. They are accountable for overcoming security and privacy risks, maintaining compliance and thwarting incidents from a business. Reportedly, the average cost of a data breach today is US$3.9 million.


Data Management

Data is a key enabler of business success, providing actionable market trends, predictive models and upsurging efficiency and productivity. CIOs would often be responsible for gleaning, organizing and retroactively reporting on company data in the past. While organizations focus on developing rapidly, more comprehensive access to data and the essential tools to accomplish this, CIOs have become less involved in direct data management and the responsibility shifted to chief data officers (CDOs).

Thus, considering these transformations, CIOs need to evolve in this digital age by taking advantage of enterprise-level disruptions, along with re-evaluating their position and making actionable adaptions. They must learn programming languages like Python, R, among others to become versatile.

CIOs must attempt new things, build IT improvement plans, comprehend and mitigate potential impediments and instigate change. They need to proactively demonstrate their value as well as understand other aspects of the business beyond IT and take the lead on new initiatives.