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The CIO of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

The CIO is perhaps the most talked about position on the face of the planet. This should come as no surprise, since information technology evolves exponentially, changing infrastructures and job roles in its wake. In a slideshow for IT Business Edge, CIO Kevin Griffin explores the parallel evolution of IT leaders, as they face challenges from new technologies while protecting legacies of business optimization.

The Typical CIO of Today

The typical CIO is perhaps over 40 years old with a degree in MIS, IT, or engineering. They’ve picked up some business skills along the way making them both wizened and savvy, though maybe not so quick on their toes as they ought to be when it comes to trends like cloud, mobile, social, or big data. This, of course, is a stereotype, but nonetheless true for many.

Howdy Partner

The new CIOs, the ones moving up through the ranks, will still come overwhelmingly from technical backgrounds, but there will also be non-technical professionals filling this role as the business melds with IT, and vice versa. Like today, the CIO will need to drive change for the business. Partnering skills will be a must, with a new emphasis placed on external unions with and between vendors.


Instead of giving the influence of new technologies more lip service, it would be prudent to mention the evolution of analytics as a big factor in the growth and influence of the CIO role. Without analytics, it is difficult to extract useful information that can be monetized from the growing troves of available data.

Some Things Never Change

What’s not going to change is the importance of a value equation that balances the business value of new technologies against their costs and risks. A second balance must be struck against IT independence versus business intimacy and between sharing information and retaining intellectual property rights.

Read the original slide show at:

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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