The evolving CIO in the digital era

The evolving CIO in the digital era IBM MSP Hub Blog Image

Obviously, the ‘I’ in CIO, Chief Information Officer, stands for Information.

But increasingly, in a world being rapidly transformed by artificial intelligence and digital technologies, it also refers to innovation, ideation, investment, and interactions on a social level.

As explained in a new report, ‘20/20 vision for the 2020 CIO’, this is an age when a new Chief Information Officer is emerging, possessing visionary thought fuelled by a heightened perceptiveness and flexibility.

Welcome to the golden age of technological innovation, where personal and organisational relationships are radically reimagined through digitisation.

The reinvention of enterprises and the CIO

Business leaders understand that technology is key to gaining customers, market share, and profitability.

Yet digitisation demands that businesses reinvent themselves, both from within and when migrating to the cloud.

For instance, to sustain customer-centric monetisation models, the CIOs need to pursue opportunities that yield differentiated business value via the innovative technologies being adopted.

These could include:
• Applying AI to drive workload transformation within the IT organisation and the business
• Driving relevancy by building collaboration within and beyond traditional dimensions
• Constructing secure infrastructures that protect resources and assets
• Brokering new ideas, anticipating future events, and acting with agility


The progressive CIO and calculated disruption

The report explores a number of major areas.

Functional relevancy in the digital era

Rewiring CIO behaviour: From IT operational efficiency to business-transforming IT

Reinventing the CIO: Think strategically, act digitally

Adopting consumer technology and best practices

Simplifying IT: Open standards and opening doors

Here’s where 2020 vision begins.

As an example, it sets out three key starting points a progressive CIO will bear in mind when creating an IT environment where calculated disruption is encouraged and managed for optimal results:

  • Look for talent, inside and out. Evaluate skills requirements, whether within part of your IT organisation or amongst those available for hire. Supplement your in-house staff by embracing non-employee skills available through the “gig economy” to create value while reducing costs.
  • View technology spending strategically. Undertake a deep dive into how budgets and spending align with the actions that need to be taken. Both capital and operational expenditures should reflect the business imperatives essential to driving business outcomes.
  • Focus on results. Control the full throttle of the IT engine to effect speed and trajectory. Accomplish this by measuring on near-term and sustainable value realisation.


Becoming smarter about driving value

In a world where disruptive innovation is upending and unsettling the status quo, CIOs need to elevate their innovation IQ, including:

  • Reinventing their IT organisational model to foster and meet business demands into 2020 and beyond, especially in new digital and cognitive domains
  • Adopting “consumable” technology, moving away from proprietary thinking to tap into commercial APIs that offer greater ease of use, lower cost, and greater expediency
  • Simplifying IT through external talent engagement, while augmenting organisational workforce proficiencies by embracing open standards, cloud technologies, and expanded skills


The Chief Innovation Officer

The full report has been made accessible above.

It’s full of skilfully researched facts, relevant information, and advice on how today’s Chief Information Officer can become tomorrow’s Chief Interactive Innovation & Investment Officer.

It’s time to an embrace a new age of commerce, one of collaboration and empowering new connections, linking expansive ecosystems of employees, customers and partners.

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