Home Four New Types of CIO for the Future

Four New Types of CIO for the Future

The global recession, the consumerization of IT, the great cloud migration and other factors are changing the role of the CIO. Past failures of enterprise technology to live up to its promises and IT’s lack of agility caused by legacy technology have decreased the influence of the CIO, explained R “Ray” Wang in a piece for Forbes last year.

Now in a new paper he has written for his own firm, Wang is exploring the future of the role that the CIO plays. He comes to the table with considerable insights. Wang is a global traveler who meets with CIOs on a constant basis in his role as principal analyst and CEO of Constellation Research, an independent firm with a key focus on the transitions the enterprise is experiencing.

In the report, he proposes four new types of CIO: Chief “Infrastructure” Officers, Chief “Integration” Officers, Chief “Intelligence” Officers, and Chief “Innovation” Officers.

“The top CIOs will seek mastery of all four personas,” Wang writes. “Others will bring expertise within the four personas into the team.”

Chief Infrastructure Officers

Infrastructure officers will do much of what is expected of modern CIOs: reduce infrastructure costs, manage legacy technology and ensure smooth IT operations. Top priorities for infrastructure officers will include eliminating “shelfware,” adopting virtualization and cloud technologies, and renegotiating contracts.

Chief Integration Officers

Another term for this might be “Chief Connection Officer.” The integration officer will connect various IT systems. One important task will be bridging legacy and cloud services.

Chief Intelligence Officers

We don’t need to tell you that data is the future. The intelligence officer will be tasked with getting the right data to the right people on the right devices. Their top priorities will be establishing and measuring key performance indicators, improving data quality and choosing the right business intelligence and analysis tools.

Chief Innovation Officers

We’ve seen this title thrown around a lot over the past few years. A few months ago, Business Week did a piece on this role. According the article, AMD, Citigroup, Coca Cola, DuPont, Humana and Owens Corning all have chief innovation officers.

According to the Constellation report, innovation officers will focus on identifying disruptive technologies and finding ways to apply them in the enterprise.

What do you think?

Does this seem like a reasonable forecast to you? Where do you see yourself fitting into this framework?

If you want to read more, check out Wang’s article for the Harvard Business Review.

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