Gone are the days of separation between IT and the rest of the organization. Today's CIO must be a jack or jill of all trades, with knowledge across multiple fields.
When you think of your IT department, what comes to mind? If you said server rooms, massive software implementations and troubleshooting, you haven’t yet met the IT department of 2013. Cloud computing, social integration and mobile strategy- terms that were foreign to the C-Suite only a decade ago are now dominating, regardless of your field.
So what does this mean for current IT departments and the Chief Information Officer (CIO), the corporate executive who leads them?
With a recent push to see CIOs as multi-disciplinary advocates of business driven objectives as well as innovators in enterprise IT, opinions on the core value for someone in a C-Suite level information technology role within an organization is evolving. Past inceptions of a CIO focused on the creation, delivery and implementation of IT solutions, while cutting costs and increasing business efficiency. The present incarnation of a CIO combines those functions with a fully imagined strategic component that results in a CIO who is simultaneously attempting to meet both IT and business driven objectives.
While agility in your role is becoming a benchmark for all corporate and even mid-level positions, the question becomes how these role splits will affect the organization as a whole. A solution to this question, to address the important innovative IT and strategy needs of an organization, is emerging.
The answer seems to be an over-arching governance structure that encourages a more collaborative approach to the strategic marketing business goals and the innovation of IT. By creating a team-based approach, issues that had been previously segmented become a focal point to increase shared knowledge and streamline processes for both departments, from a financial management perspective. This fresh approach can turn what was previously a major weakness into a strength for an organization.
The new structure will require a focus on change management and a strategically developed plan to begin slowly but surely adjusting the views of both employees and corporate level executives. Acceptance of this cooperative effort may take time, as the legacy definition of the both the IT department and the CIO becomes uprooted and rebooted to provide value in the face of a changing marketplace.
Creating this collaborative structure won’t happen overnight. Adjusting the focus of a whole department and even more-so the role of CIO, is no easy feat, but the restructuring is sure to put your organization at the front of the curve in the digital evolution.