I believe we’re in the midst of a period of tremendous and exciting change for CIOs–a CIO Renaissance Era, if you will.
In this CIO Renaissance Era, the CIO is a mover and a shaker. He (or, thankfully increasingly, she) is a business executive, looked on as a peer within the C-suite with the top players in finance, operations, marketing, sales, legal, and every other part of the business–and not exclusively as the mad monk of technology. Today’s CIO is not the chief technologist, even if responsibility for the technology architecture and roadmap rolls up to them. They don’t limit their input to IT infrastructure or software issues any more than the CFO limits their input to taxation or SEC filings.
Now, I can detect your faint murmurs as you read this: “Uh, excuse me, but haven’t we been reading and talking about the ‘CIO-as-business-leader’ for about, oh, 30 years?”
Yes, ever since the heady days of CIO visionaries like Max Hopper of American Airlines, we’ve listened to panel discussions at conferences or read publications and blogs about the transformation of CIO from tech wiz to business icon, not just weighing in on business strategy but actually crafting it. And yet, even I have to admit that the CIO’s journey to the corner office has not always gone smoothly.