CIO.com: The traditional CIO's inability to match market speed is something I hear often. It seems CIOs operate on a different clock.
Griffin: You're right. Every business right now is trying to recast itself as a digital business. There's no business that's immune from digital transformation. The biggest challenge is figuring out how to drive some agility in how you deliver IT to a business that's trying to transform itself. You're encumbered with legacy technology and legacy skill sets. You probably don't have the optimal workforce balance, in terms of in-house skills and what you're depending on partners for. And you don't necessarily have enough people with vision inside the company about what the future looks like.
CIOs can bring some outside perspective, in terms of the art of the possible. But I don't think we're doing enough of that, and this seems to be a roadblock.
CIO.com: You see a lot of upside for the future CIO. But I've heard reports that the CIO role is diminishing, in terms of tech purchasing power and executive influence in the C-suite.
Griffin: I haven't seen the shift in purchasing power yet -- that is, IT spend tends to come through the IT department. But I have seen a lot of new sources of demand for IT. There are a lot of different folks coming to the table with ideas of where we should be investing, what we should be doing. With the consumerization of IT, a lot of people think they have an expert view on this. There's no shortage of input.
If the CIO is equipped with the right level of business acumen and can hold conversations with everyone at board level with a language they all understand, then there's absolutely no reason the CIO shouldn't be a trusted business partner. The CIO can lay down some guard rails, in terms of the IT investment and how things get done.
I see the CIO as taking the guardian or custodian role, so we don't have shadow IT organizations popping up everywhere. The days of IT strategy getting decided just by the CIO, and the CIO having to convince the CFO or CEO, are gone. The CIO has to be able to take input from all sources and manage and direct the conversation at board level to ensure that we're getting a 360-degree view of what we should be doing.
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