The IT industry today is facing a very public revolution. The consumerisation of IT within enterprises, emergence of social media, and cloud computing are triggering fast-paced changes and IT leaders need to prepare themselves quickly in order to cope, or be left behind.
It is clear that the CIO role is being transformed as a result of the fast-paced changes driven by technology's rapid evolution. To ascertain where the role is headed, CIO Connect conducts its annual Horizons Survey which draws on the quantitative and qualitative opinions of senior IT executives globally. The results provide fascinating insights for the future of technology leadership.
At the top of the list of change drivers is the consumerisation of IT. Increasingly, more and more employees are demanding freedom to choose smart devices such as tablets and smartphones, raising concerns about security as well as setting policies and operating procedures for such use. The survey results also saw many CIOs pointing to the cost and complexity of supporting an ever-expanding range of consumer devices and associated operating systems. However, this trend also presents opportunities for business-savvy CIOs to transform IT operations and improve productivity.
The survey also uncovered that new areas of opportunity are opening up for IT leaders, giving them the chance to step into a business leadership role. Business change leadership is perceived as the most likely next step for an IT leader as the CIO possesses experience of weathering successive waves of technological innovation, giving him or her necessary skill sets to cope and manage change.
Other roles for CIOs include ownership of shared services and digital enterprise design, a strategic role that will gain prominence as businesses become increasingly digital. All these demonstrate the growing influence of the CIO in shaping and delivering business solutions. With this, the CIO role will need to undergo a transformation, moving from its traditional roots in technology to a place of business leadership in regards to both innovation and information.
The survey findings are indicative of what we at CIO Connect have observed in Asia. We are seeing the Asian CIO growing in importance as IT plays a more prominent role in the enterprise and growth in the region increases that. Of course, there are many differences across Asia, yet the clear trends such as consumerisation of IT, cloud computing and the ever growing risk and threat landscape are giving CIOs the opportunity to advise their business on how best to navigate these major changes while keeping the business on a safe path towards growth.
To deliver more value to their organisations in a business role, CIOs need to develop new skill sets that will enable them to thrive, and combine these with their technology heritage to help their organisations flourish in the digital era.
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