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Introducing the Chief Productivity Officer

Jimmy Fitzgerald, the Vice President of Asia-Pacific and Japan, ServiceNow | Jan. 18, 2016
CIOs role will evolve from one of an overseer of the IT infrastructure to a provider of services, says Jimmy Fitzgerald of ServiceNow.

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 maturation of cloud computing services allows IT teams to provide their business units with the applications they need to be more productive. IT in 2016 will be more relevant, and therefore, more visible, to the broader business as it moves away from devoting its time and resources to making upgrades to systems and applications, patching servers, and other tasks that the cloud provider will be is responsible for.

This is driving a significant (and necessary) evolution of the CIO's role from one of an overseer of the IT infrastructure to a provider of services, similar to HR, finance and legal. These services have become so critical to how business gets done that companies in 2016 will be compelled to create a new senior executive-level position to oversee the selection and delivery of these services: The Chief Productivity Officer.

As IT becomes better able to focus on business processes and running systems better, they can help sales, marketing, HR, legal, finance, customer service and other departments be more efficient and effective. IT can have a broad impact on its organisation's ability to meet its business goals. Because the CIO is best positioned to lead this evolution (or may already be leading it), who better to fill this new CPO role?

Here are the five trends we predict will compel enterprises to look to a CPO in 2016: 

1. The CIO Evolves: Just as the Director of Data Processing role evolved into the position of CIO about 30 years ago to address the spread of computing throughout the enterprise, the CIO is now evolving from only being responsible for managing the IT infrastructure. CIOs can create significant competitive advantages through strategic use of cloud-based services and applications to help accomplish broad business goals such as driving revenue growth, targeting new markets, and improving customer service. 

More and more enterprises are. Eighty-four percent of businesses surveyed in the new Verizon Enterprise Solutions' 2016 State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud report said their cloud use has increased in the past year, and half of enterprises say they will use cloud for at least 75 percent of their workloads by 2018.

With the adoption of cloud, IT teams can-and must-emerge from their windowless data centers to become more relevant to the broader business. They can provide business units with the applications they need to be more productive.  And as such, they will improve business processes and help all employees be more productive. In 2016, you'll see how the CIO provides services that transform how work gets done across all parts of the organisation-and will be in name or action-the organization's chief productivity officer.


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