The Changing Role of the CIO

The role of the CIO has changed dramatically. A decade or two ago, CIOs typically managed locally-hosted infrastructure and networks. Today, mobile devices have replaced mainframes. Digital and web technology has powered a host of options, including colocation and the cloud. And demand for bandwidth and processing power has never been greater.

That’s the most recent thinking behind a Raconteur report, and one thing this issue makes abundantly clear is this: digital tech is increasingly providing the heartbeat to drive most, if not all, EU-based businesses.

Where CIOs were once technology administrators, today they serve as strategic business leaders, leveraging IT to achieve significant business goals. The role involves critical investment decisions. In fact, the report finds that across the board, “accounting for IT issues and their related cost” is the number one area where CIOs feel they add the most value (81%), a view that is shared by their entire C-suite (73%).

However, with the arrival of cheaper IT enablement tools, businesses also need to be wary of invaders. The Raconteur report surmises that that CIOs have to  be increasingly focused on ‘cyber resilience’ in order to ensure continued business connectivity and maximum uptime, as hackers and shadow IT specialists grow in their sophistication.

The Raconteur report also notes that for a modern CIO, there are many hats to wear. Not only are they tasked with creating and realising value, but the modern-day CIO must also be tasked with delivery; sourcing; programme management, operations; customer relations management (CRM); talent management; strategy/planning; architecture and innovation management.

According to a recent study by Accenture, the trends for 2017 point to robotic interventions into the workplace; where for a long time robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) seemed a long way off, smart machinery and internet of “everything” (or IoT) is now very much here to stay. According to market intelligence firm Tractica, business spending on AI alone is now predicted to rise to as high as $11.1 billion by 2024, 50 times higher than present-day figures.

So whether it is by machine learning, harnessing the unlimited processing power abilities of AI systems to yield a better return, or finding increasing pots of “value,”the CIO must expect that not only will they remain very busy this year, but increasingly, they will have to have several roles in order to satisfy customers as well as internal stakeholders they answer to.

Zayo is a sponsor of the Raconteur report The Future CIO, please log on to Raconteur to read more or feel free to connect with us at @Zayo_UK to continue the conversation!  #TheFutureCIO