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The CIO renaissance: From the backroom to the boardroom

Ron Totton, Managing Director of Southeast Asia, BT Global Services | March 24, 2015
Ron Totton, Managing Directorof Southeast Asia,BT Global Services, takes a look at the role of the CIO amid unprecedented change and digital disruptionin the industry

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The world that we live in today is about to get even more connected, with tens of billions of devices expected to come online in the next five years, heralding a dramatic change in the way we live and do business. As we usher in an era of digital disruption, the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)is at a tipping point. New research from BT explores the changing role of the CIO, revealing that in Singapore, 94 per cent of IT decision makers agree that the traditional role of the CIO is changing, and that this change is happening faster than ever.The study, conducted with nearly 1,000 IT decision makers world-wide, points towards a clear gravitational shift in the CIO's raison d'etre.

CIOs have an unprecedented opportunity to assume a greater leading role in their organisations. In order to achieve this, they must adapt to a new operating environment where digitalisation is rapidly undoing the traditional relationship between the business side of the organisation and the IT department. Against this dynamic backdrop, CIOs need to leverage technology creatively to achieve business results that add value to the organisation, and in doing so, increase their influence in the boardroom. 

Great Power, Greater Responsibility
CIOs are already boosting their boardroom influence and status -- a trend that is resonating strongly in Singapore, where 74 per cent of IT decision makers agree that CIOs have greater standing in the boardroom than before, compared to 59 per cent of respondents globally. Their performance is also increasingly judged by business results such as revenue growth, employee satisfaction, and operational efficiency,with 88 per cent of IT leaders in Singapore saying that CIOs today are evaluated against more business-oriented performance indicators than technology-specific ones.

This rising status of the CIO in a company carries with itnew expectations. More than two-thirds (78 per cent) of respondents in Singapore noted that their management board is demanding greater creativity from the CIO, a skill that may not be traditionally associated with this role. CIOs themselves welcome this demand for more creativity, with 72 per cent agreeing that the CIO becoming more creative is a positive development for the organisation.

Creativity is a skill that the CIO of tomorrow's successful digital businesses will need in order to turn new technology solutions into tangible,impactful and sustainable business outcomes for their organisations. Imaginative and visionary CIOs who find the sweet spot of leveraging people, skills and technology creatively will likely emerge as leaders who will influence, steer and determine a business'overall strategy and goals.

 

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