A CIO wasn’t the same as a CIO in 2019 in the year 2000. While the traditional role of CIO meant that they were IT providers with a focus on development and operations, the new IT model envisages the CIO as a broker and service orchestrator with a focus on innovation. David Higginson, CIO at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, believes that up to this day there have been three CIO waves.”It was kind of a plumber-type person in the’ 80s and’ 90s who got the network working, got the servers running, got the emails going, and that was their job,” he explained during a 2018 Health IT Conference interview. “Next, in the 2000s, we got into having large budgets and being tasked by the organization’ Go make this happen.’ I think many CIOs today have done really well in this project management, system implementation-type field.” The current scene for CIOs is quite different from what it was 20 years ago and is now closely intertwined with the organization’s business dimension.”The CIO of today is no longer an engineering expert supplying hardware and software,” said John Halamka, a long-standing title holder at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “The CIO communicates widely, convenes governance groups and promotes innovation.”
Business leaders and strategists
Because companies are increasingly dependent on technology, the CIO’s role within an organization has become more relevant and has also become a close partner and ally to the CEO. CIO duties will not only be operational but will provide valuable insights to guide the board on wisely and strategically leveraging IT and disruptive technologies. Strategic business is now an essential part of the role of the CIO and you need to fully embrace it in order to succeed.
The CIO role’s focus will shift from the bottom line to the top line, with more focus on outward-focused activities that create business value and help streamline IT operations. It will also be crucial to engage closely with your customer base and listen to user demands. ArifHarbott, Chief Digital and Information Officer of the Ministry of Justice of the United Kingdom, believes that in order to be a technology leader, you first need to be a business leader: “First and foremost, you need to be a business leader specializing in digital and technology.” “You will need a thorough knowledge of finance, procurement, trade, HR, operations, marketing, etc. to be a good leader.”
The future CIO must be an expert in the business. For senior management and colleagues, nothing is more frustrating than a lack of business drive and understanding of business. CIOs are irremediably doomed to failif they are unable to develop their industry and their customers and customers’ in-depth knowledge.
Keep watching this space for more.