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The emergence of the hybrid CIO

Joe Poon, Vice President of Strategy, Asia, Logicalis | Nov. 17, 2014
Joe Poon, VP of Strategy (Asia) at Logicalis, talks about the continuing evolution of the Head of IT or CIO's role, and how he needs to absorb new functions or risk losing his influence in technology buying decisions.

3. CIOs generally feel they have lost control of IT assets to a certain extent, and, are adopting more of an influencer role — 'championing a technology vision' and building relationships with other departments.

The survey also found that the CIO's ability to truly deliver this new breed of IT department — one that delivers demonstrable business value — depends on stable budgets, although they will continue to be tied to clear ROI projections.

As a result, effective collaboration between CIOs and CEOs or CFOs is becoming even more critical — it could come to define not only an organisation's IT spend, but its ability to compete in a new business reality.

Management hiring trends in Singapore also support this trend. Another recruitment firm, Hays, in its 2014 local job outlook report, surmised that a crucial area of growth this year will come from crossover roles — as the technology, marketing and finance worlds integrate, it will be key to find people who can move across all sectors, and who possess different levels of knowledge.

Describing the report, spokesperson Chris Mead, Hays' Regional Director in Singapore & Malaysia, said: "In 2014 technology will no longer sit in the domain of the CTO or CIO, but will instead integrate with both marketing and finance. This integration of both technology with marketing, and technology with finance, will see staff in these departments become jointly responsible for outcomes. It will create a need for people with multilevel hybrid knowledge."

Over the last few years, we have also seen increasing maturity in approaches to IT services; BYOD becomes mobility, outsourcing becomes managed services and in turn develops into ITSM, and CIOs find that their line of business colleagues are taking the lead on how IT budgets are spent.

What this means is that the role of the CIO and the traditional IT department will continue to change, and rapidly.  Instead of managing technology, they will increasingly manage experiences, developing and offering well-defined service portfolios that will drive the emergence of service defined enterprises.

Suppliers and technology vendors are not exempt from these changes and the onus is on them to ensure they provide services that optimise business, technology investments and IT operations that, in short, bring business and technology together to work as one.


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