The cloud revolution : the changing role of the CIO


More than a new infrastructure, cloud computing drives a real revolution of roles and responsibilities within IT. Until now, often reduced to the role of provider and protector of the "container", the CIO will have to evolve further towards the role of "content" provider/protector and business strategist. In other words, the attention of the CIO should focus more on the intelligent use of data, rather than on the provision of infrastructure. CIOs must demonstrate their ability to drive change and value creation, at the risk of seeing their responsibilities threatened. At the time of IT consumerization, technology is a gateway that facilitates the means of access to information, regardless of the tools, equipment and geography. The link between the user and the business becomes more virtual and it is probably for the best. After all, an IT department that users forget, is a sign of a department that is just providing a seamless access to intelligent information in all places and at all times as it should be.

IT budgets are moving too, and a large mass is going to the providers of "cloud." Those who don’t want the IT department to become a pure cost center and be reduced to the role of IT suppliers relationship manager or Chief Technology Officer (CTO), will have to reinvent the chargeback of costs and show added value. The future influence of the IT Department is not in its infrastructure - otherwise it can save costs by sharing services - but in the intelligent use of data. Measuring the contribution of technology to improve sales force would be a good goal. Renaming the IT department with Vice-Presidency of Information Systems would also draw attention to the right place and get closer to Business Units. IT investments will be decided, more than ever, in the lines of business and in particular in the Vice-Presidency Marketing, which will seek to integrate social media data with existing IT systems. The CIO who will meet this need for integration will have the full attention of the Executive Committee. The challenge, however, is to provide innovation at a time when the budget is cut.

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