The Ever-Changing Role of a CIOChief information officers have much more on their plates than IT infrastructure. Today’s CIOs are a brand’s technology hub—a human operating system that manages mobility, the cloud, big data, and more. The role of a CIO has changed dramatically in the last few years, and is poised to transform further with each new tech revolution.

Meet the New CIO: Creative, Ambitious, Essential

The digital transformation has taken CIOs out of the server room and into several other aspects of business. The changing role of CIO encompasses bring your own device (BYOD) programs and big data collection, while also embracing more creative aspects of the business sphere. Today’s CIOs have gone bimodal—masterminding innovative tech solutions, business model restructuring, and even software development. CIOs have gone from managing the backend of technology to being a company’s technology nexus.

Business technology has evolved from a necessary expense to the driving force behind company growth and profitability. With this change came the immense transformation of the role of CIO. Now, CIOs are critical decision makers when it comes to new technology adoption and articulating the value of technology. A 2016 CIO survey shows that 63 percent of CIOs focus more on projects that make money rather than those that save money (37 percent). The most successful CIOs are creative, and they spend more time collaborating with the IT team than controlling it.

CIOs are more integral to the health and success of a business than ever, leading to happier and more ambitious IT leaders. CEOs today work closely with CIOs, asking the latter’s advice on how to improve business technology. Instead of simply implementing chosen systems, CIOs have a major say in the decision-making. The modern CIO is a business-led advisor who is not only involved in business strategy, but who is at its core.

Learn What Today’s CIOs Orchestrate

As market forces, such as changing consumer needs and new industry competitors, continue to spark new trends in business tech, the evolving role of CIO must keep up. For example, the emergence of the cloud brought an entirely new set of tasks to the modern CIO, including understanding its value, the ROI of cloud adoption, and the intricacies of cloud security. New roles such as cloud architect and cloud security now dominate the job title.

BYOD (Bring your Own Device) policies represent a relatively new business practice. CIOs are tasked with managing BYOD and home automation, as well as handling remote employees and mobile collaboration. CIOs must vet new systems to support the “new way to work,” making sure these systems are useful to the company, valuable, and secure. CIOs must now integrate BYOD rules and regulations in the office, and supervise the complex fields of shadow IT and application management.

Security is a vital part of being a CIO in the digital age. In keeping with the rapid pace of technological change, CIOs must assess and manage company-wide security risks, including working closely with the chief information security officer (CISO). Managing big data collection and analysis is also a major role of today’s CIO, with an emphasis on utilizing data to optimize the consumer experience.

We project the role of the CIO will keep shifting as technology continues to revolutionize business. As new technologies come into play, the modern CIO will have to adapt quickly and efficiently to changing rules and expectations in the workplace; CIOs will need to wear many hats in an ever-evolving industry.

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