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The new breed of executive CIO

Paul Martine | Feb. 1, 2012
Where traditionally, CIOs focus on the technology within their remit, executive CIOs are realising the strategic opportunities the role offers to affect a much wider ecosystem, thanks to the omnipresence of the company IT system

The recent Citrix BYO Index suggests that 55 percent of organisations have achieved, or expect to achieve, increased worker productivity through BYO. Some organisations have even seen many beneficial changes to the way in which they operate and organise their teams and departments because of the flexibility supported by BYO scenarios. BYO policies support a multitude of initiatives such as flexible and collaborative work environments, teleworking, hot-desking and data access for contractors. These policies and the technologies behind them also allow IT organisations to become far more agile in their business process, adapt to changing market opportunities and even on-board new employees far more quickly than they could before.

Benefits even branch into areas such as recruitment; the Citrix study found that 33 percent of BYO policies were being driven by the need to attract and retain top talent. Organisations are finding increasing competition when trying to attract the best talent and the work environment is a major factor. For the new generation entering the workplace, computer systems are a vital aspect of day-to-day life and they have a certain set of expectations about their work environment. A computing policy that doesn't suit their expectation or limits the flexibility of how they work can be a pivotal decision as to whether they join an organisation. By creating a more flexible computing environment that supports BYO, a CIO can greatly aid in the quest for new talent.

At the same time the technology powering this change, desktop virtualisation, delivers on the core responsibilities of any CIO. Central desktop and application management lowers IT administration costs and the elimination of a single standardised device across the organisation supports flexibility for the workers, increases productivity and simplifies device management.

The new breed of CIO is the executive CIO, creating value not just across his or her own department but the entire company; an impact greatly needed by the modern enterprise. By knowing and understanding the latest developments in their area and the possible effects it can have across their organisation, the executive CIO can create and enable policies such as BYO and form an environment where employees and the organisation will thrive. By moving beyond a traditional IT focus, the executive CIO is becoming increasingly prominent in implementing the workplace of the future within innovative enterprises.

Paul Martine is CIO of Citrix Systems.



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