Traditional IT is sunsetting as radical new models powered by on demand is completely changing the taxonomy of enterprise IT and consumption patterns. As we all know Digital today is an oft-repeated term and often times we struggle to find one definition that satisfies all. Right now, the air is riddled with emerging tech from SDX to IoT to AI and a whole lot of emerging tech vocabulary. The CIO is clearly caught at the intersection of this disruption. If they miss the emerging tech bus, they face extinction.
Jim DuBois, Author, Technology Advisor – former Microsoft CIO, once said, “Many CIOs understand they need to change or get left behind. There’s less and less middle ground. Digital transformation is impacting virtually every business, so there’s urgency for IT to be a driver of innovation and change. We’re really seeing how the role of the CIO has shifted, to become more embedded in the strategic leadership of the organization and work more with external customers and partners to provide IT-enabled products and services.”
Disruptive emerging technologies will play a major role in reshaping business models as they change the economics of all organizations. In a study, Gartner asked CIOs and IT leaders which technologies they expect to be most disruptive. Artificial intelligence (AI) was by far the most mentioned technology and takes the spot as the top game-changer technology away from data and analytics, which is now occupying second place.
THE NEW AGE BLENDED CIO
Aligning IT with business is an age-old debate. This became more pronounced when in the 1990s, IT was seen a business enabler and not a cost center. When the ERP wave swept the enterprises in the 1990s, the nondescript MIS department tucked somewhere in the basement, suddenly became a celebrity and thus CIOs were born. Their stature grew because they purchased IT. But is the CIO a hands-on tech person or a business head driving tech via outsourcing?
CIOs by and large also agree that technology is becoming increasingly complex. Too much focus on understanding the technology will distract the CIO from focusing on areas like business, IT alignment and collaboration which are critical and a key competence expected from a CIO by the CEO and the business today. More than understanding the nuts and bolts of each technology, the CIO has to focus on assessing the relevance of these technologies to his organization and business and explore ways and means to introduce new technologies in the organization.
THE CIO-CFO COLLABORATION
According to a Forbes Insights Report last year, it said that IT Transformation Hinges Upon Eliminating Friction Between CIOs and CFOs, Says Forbes Insights Report. The report made in association with Dell EMC, titled “IT Transformation: Success Hinges on CIO/CFO Collaboration,” finds that a stunning 89% of senior executives acknowledge that significant barriers exist—ranging from outdated ideas about the role of CIOs to obsolete reporting structures—that keep CIOs and CFOs from collaborating more closely. The study’s data derives from a global survey of 500 CEOs, COOs, CIOs and CFOs conducted by Forbes Insights and Dell EMC. The survey and a series of in-depth interviews with global IT and business executives also highlight other underlying frictions that thwart CIOs and CFOs from forming a united front to capitalize on the benefits of IT Transformation.
THE WAY FORWARD
Moreover, experts say that Digital transformation is at the core of all businesses across industries. From a technology standpoint, most clients cannot make an immediate clean sheet of paper transition to a digital technology backbone. Clients will typically build a digital architecture on top of their legacy technology and the integration between these two layers is a very critical part of the transformation. A new broader set of capabilities is required to help clients navigate the digital transition.
So clearly emerging tech driven by Digital is no longer rhetoric IT Organizations across the world were rather compelled to revisit their technology architectures and ink a bold new strategy aimed at meshing IT with the new normal digital economy business demands. One saw transformation events like legacy modernization, infusing agile methodologies like DevOps in the software development lifecycle, leveraging big data and unbundling ‘On-Prem’ and moving to an ‘on demand regime’- all these topped the agenda of technology decision makers across the world.
In tandem, leading CIOs to believe that the role of IT inside of the organization has changed as well, to become less focused on large, multi-year projects and application packages and is more focused on delivering in agile sprints and diverse, integrated SaaS offerings.
So at the end of the day what matters is that IT organizations need to take a progressive approach and align their competencies towards ushering in the digital transformation that will future proof their tech backbone. In the bargain, IT no longer is the mandate of the CIO only. To create a seamless digital transformation strategy all the stakeholders-the CEO, CFO, CMO, and the CIO have to come on the same page and function in cohesion to realize this transformation.
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