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The Changing Makeup of the CIO

There’s no telling what the future holds for tomorrow’s CIO, yet gazing into his crystal ball (interviewing  the pros), Informatica's Myles Suer writes on the changing landscape of this dynamic profession. When asked about the qualities a CIO should possess, Suer found some surprising answers.

More Women

Of course, men dominate the profession, but some of those same men think that women are well suited to a position that requires team work and collaboration (a stereotype of course, but a rather flattering one).

Less Gray Hair

Out with the old and in with the new – polls show that average age of the CIO is dropping, with retiring members of the old regime being replaced with young millennial blood who are well versed in new technologies. Despite the more youthful face of today’s CIO, IT professionals are rising to this position less frequently. Suer says that’s because the business side is taking over:

It is more about business alignment than technology alignment”. This need for better business alignment led one CIO to say that consulting is a great starting point for a future IT leader to start their career. Consulting provides a future IT leader with the following: 1) vertical expertise; 2) technical expertise; and 3) systems integration expertise.

Role Change and the Unforeseen

Will the role of CIO change in the coming years? Most think it will. But these changes will also require the necessary adjustments, such as knowing transactional systems, BI, and planning systems. In short, IT in general must become part of the business unit, not just an accessory to it. The traditional role of CIO as builder of systems is being replaced with that of technology coordinator.  

Some see a morphing and transformation future for the position. The CIO could become a COO or in some cases reduced back to a CTO, or dissolved altogether, or revised to a management role by being paired with the CFO.  No one knows for sure what the future holds. Until then, we are left to speculate, predict, and ask questions.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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