How the Cloud is Affecting the Evolving Role of the CIO
Congratulations on finally landing that CIO role you’ve been working for! It’s been a long road, but you’ve done it. Be sure to take some time to celebrate your accomplishment. Hooray! And, now condolences on landing your position because the evolving role of the CIO demands more than ever before.
Your new peers have formed a line outside your door with questions and complaints about speed, agility, and support for their strategies. The CFO wants to tighten costs. The CEO wants to hang onto that legacy ERP. The CRO wants to completely digitize and go B2C.
These are all new challenges present in the evolving role of the CIO. Not so long ago, the CIO was deeply rooted in overseeing the IT operation with utility-type goals — such as providing basic network connectivity, ensuring data center and server capacity, and operating a website. These were, and are, important tasks.
But all that has changed. The recognition that technology is core to every business and function has changed the mindset of non-IT leaders. The rapid evolution of cloud services, connected devices, integrated third parties, and AI has put technology directly into their hands. For the modern CIO, compliance and security concerns now surpass worries about performance and uptime.
Technology partnership, vendor management, and governance now trump tight-fisted control of resources on the CIO’s list of responsibilities. Connectivity and support — any time and all the time — is now the expectation with resources positioned across the globe. In a sense, yesterday’s CIOs were playing checkers; this current generation is playing chess.
Constants for the Evolving Role of the CIO
Despite these profound changes, the expected outcome has remained constant. CIOs must deliver flexible, high-quality technology services in support of the business at the best-possible cost while deftly navigating technical complexity and global threats. It’s a complex job description that requires many strengths and skills and demands a wide range of insight into several disciples:
Deep understanding of the company’s strategy
Strong relationships with C-level peers
Fluency in vendor management
A finger on the pulse of the technical landscape
The Foremost Challenge for CIOs
The biggest challenges facing technology executives is the inherent conflict between speed of delivery and quality of design — doing it fast or doing it right. The cloud has created an environment where enterprise-class capabilities can be bought in minutes with an email address and a credit card, delivering immediate benefit to the business. But that speed comes at a cost.
Security, compliance, integration, and support often get little consideration in the rush to transition. CIOs must counter the business’ desire to move fast with collaboration, governance, and expertise. Those same tools come to play in nearly every discussion about technology innovation from AI to Big Data to IoT.
A Balancing Act
Successful CIOs have evolved their approach and skillset to work within this new reality. Judging and managing expectations for speed and convenience brought by digital optimization against the security and governance concerns from implementing it is an essential skill that needs to be honed. Learning to ask the right questions must come as easily as breathing in this environment.
“Before signing that contract, let’s talk about the outcomes you’re trying to drive.”
“That’s definitely a powerful platform. But how does it protect our data?”
“I suspect the hype has gotten a bit ahead of reality. Let us do a bit of research before we commit.”
While the demands for the evolving role of the CIO are high, they can’t be expected to go it alone. Expertise in areas like cybersecurity is essential to building sustainable programs and virtuous security cultures. CIOs need fact-based information about threats and risks to make the right decisions.
Get Legal and Cybersecurity Teams Working Together: More collaboration is needed to manage risk and better inform decision-makers about potential impact. Learn more here.
Inversion6 Supports the Evolving Role of the CIO
From fractional CISOs to cloud app assessment services, Inversion6 has decades of experience helping CIOs successfully eliminate reactive tactics by defining smart strategies, deploying the right solutions, and minimizing potential disruptions. From guiding CEOs to what they need to know to helping CFOs gauge the pros and cons of cyber insurance, our team will give you the perspective and insights you need to inform your decisions.
Connect with Inversion6 for more insight into how we can fuel your success.