Cloud computing and the changing role of the CIO

Thanks to the cloud, the CIO’s role is evolving dramatically. In fact, the Chief Information Officer is now becoming the Chief Innovation Officer

Khirodra Mishra, Global Head – Strategy and M&A, Infrastructure & Cloud Computing, Dell Services

Over the last several decades, technology has been playing a pivotal role in making businesses more productive and efficient. With every passing year, the magnitude of impact technology has been making for businesses is multiplying. Currently, it is at an interesting juncture of this technological evolution, where digital entrants are set to disrupt various industries.We have numerous examples across various industries— banking, retail, travel, and healthcare. Crowdsourced taxi drivers, community marketplace for accommodation, social shopping platforms, Internet video services, and dynamic airline ticket pricing are some of the ways companies are innovating and building successful digital businesses. Such digital disruptions are not only changing the business models of organizations but arealso rearranging value chains, creating new breakthroughs, and giving an advantage to companies which can adopt and adapt to these disruptions.

These technological advancements are transforming every business process, enabling people to create new products and services with ease, delivering the best-of-the- breed efficiency, and empowering customers like never before. Cloud computing is playing the anchor role in all these disruptions that we are experiencing around us.

How the cloud is changing the CIO role
Today, the CIO’s role is evolving dramatically, thanks to the cloud. Cloud has completely transformed IT service delivery, and the silos of infrastructure, applications, and business processes that used to keep the CIOs awake at night. Today, the CIO is responsible for consuming numerous technologies and managing relationships across providers, and the organization’s expectation is that of a unified, integrated experience. Thus, the CIO now not only maintains technology infrastructure, but also adds considerable value to the business.
As the cloud has transformed the way companies are doing business, a number of new objectives have emerged for the CIOs today. They need to modernize applications and migrate to a cloud-centric architecture without compromising on security. CIOs are deploying tools, technology, and knowledge bases to help companies find new markets, dramatically improve time to market, and drive customer loyalty.
In this era of technology-led business growth, the CIO needs to lead the charge. Unlike the traditional responsibilities of managing IT systems and cost, CIOs have to get deep into creating new technology solutions to create competitive and differentiated advantage for the organization.
The cloud-centric IT landscape has unshackled key forces for change in IT management, legacy systems, cloud migration, and outsourcing. This cloud-powered transformation will significantly boost business outcomes. Businesses today need not spend huge amounts of money and other resources to get another datacenter.
They can simply rent it from a cloud provider, do the work, and turn it off.

Empowering the CIO
On the other hand, organizations should aim at empowering the CIOs to create value through world-class cloud capabilities. Today, CIOs have the technological canvas to create enterprise-wide capabilities and an on-demand approach to enable their employees to experiment and innovate. Smaller organizations and start-ups can move to cloud environments with ease to pursue and build innovative and collaborative business models and digital solutions. Large organizations can pursue an asset-light approach and build an on-demand infrastructure to enable their teams to run their strategic experiments and digital innovations. Cloud is reducing technology requirements and levelling the playing field where small and big enterprises are equally placed to compete head-on.

And in this game, CIOs will play a more business-centric role than merely a technology-centric one. As CIOs become more focused on leveraging technology to generate enhanced business outcomes, it is quite apt to say that the Chief Information Officer is now becoming the Chief Innovation Officer. Regardless of the industry, the CIO is increasingly becoming an essential part of the products or services offered by the organization,
and cloud has a major role to play in that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *