The new CIO is a business leader. Grounded in technology but an expert in using the disruptive power of technology to drive business innovation - uses technology to create sustainable competitive advantage. This is CIO 3.0.
Change is coming. Are you ready?
There is a move to CIO 3.0. Get on board or become irrelevant.
CIO role is not disappearing. CIOs are being asked to do a different
thing - lead innovation.
The CIO role has evolved through three distinct phases. As our thinking on technology has evolved so has the role of the CIO.
CIO 1.0 (“manager of technology”)
First, technology was a utility - used to conduct business. Starting as an “IT Manager” or “Head of IT” or “Electronic Data Processing (EDP) Manager” the
CIO role was responsible for installing and maintaining computers – hardware, software, networks. Business uses technology. Technology is a utility. CIO 1.0 keeps the technology humming.
CIO 2.0 (“enabler of business”)
Then, technology evolved to being a competitive asset - used to create competitive advantage. CIO's responsibility changed from managing computers to making them useful. Now, the expectation of the CIO role is to deploy technology
in line with business needs. Second generation CIOs are expected to create an IT strategy, that supports a Business Strategy. Business needs technology. Technology is a strategic asset.
Business leads, and the CIO follows closely in sync. CIO 2.0 performs business-IT alignment.
CIO 3.0 (“driver of business”)
The advent of internet left businesses flat footed - who was responsible?
Could the CIO 2.0, the technology enabler, deal with this
catastrophe? Absolutely not. So, how do we deal with the next wave of
disruptive technology - how do we deal with technology innovation
whose pace is accelerating at the speed of light? Hello, CIO 3.0.
Increasingly, the CIO's responsibility is changing
from enabling business to driving innovation. The horse is firmly in front of the cart! Technology creates markets. Technology is a competitive weapon. CIO is the “chief innovation officer”
or should morph into “chief digital officer.”
CEOs will not admit that they are technology illiterate - it takes a
different kind of skill set to get to the top job that "marketing
types" have but "technology types" do not. But
keeping that chair now requires technology skills. So "technology
types" must be co-opted; invited to the inner chamber, treated
with respect, and asked to take on the innovation challenge - manage
the technology hurricanes that are now going to be the norm.
The new CIO is Weather-man. strategist. implementer - par excellence!
At CIO Index, we believe that the new CIO will neither be a Chief Innovation Officer nor a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) because neither moves the ball forward in a meaningful way.
The emerging role of the CIO will make them “Chief Executive Officer” of the technology division.
What are the expectations of the CIO 3.0 role?
CIO 3.0 is a technology savvy innovator who anticipates the next disrupting technology
coming down the pike which has the potential to demolish an
organization. S/he informs, educates,
and helps adapt/retool the business to deal with the impending threat. Most
importantly, s/he creates new opportunities for business to
leverage emerging technologies to create shareholder value.
This is what the new CIO is required to do:
the Technology Weatherman/Seer: Identify the next disruptive
technology in time to take meaningful action
the Technology Assessor: Assess the damage from this technology to
the business before a thing has happened
the Technology Salesman/Sage: Convince your C-Suite peers on this
being the "real" storm
the Technology Innovator: Identify ways to leverage this new
technology to create shareholder value
There is a lot more but this should give you an idea of what the
expectations are of the CIO role going forward.
CIO 3.0 role and responsibilities cannot be created in a vacuum. This new
CIO will create a new kind of IT capability - IT strategy, IT
processes, IT infrastructure and IT organization.
This new IT capability will be supported by a small, agile IT organization
- a tiger team of fearless mavericks who thrive on the risk of
foraging into uncharted territory, are nimble on their feet like a
Ninja, embrace change with the alacrity of a chameleon, and have the
skill set of a Swiss army knife. Jedi Masters all, led by Yoda
The airwaves are saturated with talk of the impending changes in the CIO
role. Some have dire predictions for the role itself - "the CIO
role is history!" they say. Some have implored CIOs to become
"chief innovation officers" and lead the technology
innovation charge at the enterprise. Some others believe in the
"transformative CIO." No matter which acronym or phrase you
choose for the CIO role, the consensus is, that the role is changing
in the direction of technology driven business innovation. It is the
logical next step in the evolution of this role.
For those CIOs who thought their job was tough, welcome to mission
impossible. Dear CIO, you have but one simple choice to make: "lead, follow, or
get out of the way."
Resistance is futile. It is time to embrace this change and figure out what it
entails for you.
So, what do I need to become CIO 3.0?
Well, your journey to CIO 3.0 begins right here.