CIO/IT Managers: Importance of Role

CIO Logo from CIO Magazine
CIO Logo from CIO Magazine

The prominence of the CIO position has risen greatly as information technology has become a more important part of business. The CIO may be a member of the executive board of the organization, but this is dependent on the type of organization. CIO as a job title originated in the US, but is slowly replacing IT Director as the de facto title in Europe and Asia.

It’s largely driven by the fact that the technology is so embedded in the processes of business operations that it is natural that the task of IT managers has to be backed by business vision. Today’s conventional wisdom says IT must be run like a business. CIOs need to be business leaders, not only technology experts. Technology investments must be driven by business strategy. IT is used to enhance the business process, and the cycle is simple. IT budget it self is a cost for a company. This cost enables the business processes to run smoother and the investment decision should be based on ROI (Return on Investment). The IT Manager or the CIO has to be liable for the expenses on IT infrastructure.

Traditional IT approaches often implicitly encourage an attitude of “Tell me what you do, and I will build the system that supports it”. But the realities of today’s business environment usually have to be experienced to be deeply understood.

CIO / IT managers must have to understand the business, then translate and interpret the tool; in short IT has to be associated with business focus. In order to do so, the CIO must address several gaps, the gap in business system performance as well as the gap in effective business and IT service engagement.

Critical issues such as service delivery, accounting, managing (especially adopting new business process changes) and supporting are turning into a big challenge. Many organizations have failed to take advantage of their large IT investments, as a consequence of their blind-eye to managing service through definition of proper discipline. Many are found investing a lot of time and effort behind definition/re-definition of processes using internal resources (which never mature and remain unstable due to changes in people, businesses and technologies). Critical issues at the end remain unaddressed (or wrongly addressed). Such as: IT and business strategic planning, integrating and aligning IT and business goals, implementing continual improvement, measuring IT organizations’ effectiveness and efficiency, optimizing costs and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), achieving and reflecting Return on Investment (ROI), exhibiting the business value of IT, developing business and IT partnerships and relationships, improving project delivery success, outsourcing vis-à-vis in-sourcing and smart sourcing, using IT to gain competitive advantage, delivering the necessary business justified IT services (i.e. what is required, when it is required and at what agreed cost), managing constant business and IT change, and of course demonstrating apposite IT governance.

As there are gap and challenges exists in business operations and IT, the CIO/ IT managers have to dig deeper for solutions delivering effective service to all departments under same layer.

Due to the changing trend of IT and business and growing pressure of competitiveness, corporate strategies must be equipped with business-savvy CIOs.

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