Gartner recently predicted that by the end of the decade, ninety percent of technology spending will be outside of IT. The reasons are many, but it comes down to the digitization of different organizations within business as well as new revenue streams existing in a strictly digital environment. As Joe McKendrick explains in this article, IT will continue its expansion to touch all elements of business, and this will lead to a new role, the Chief Digital Officer, which will oversee the relationship between the technology outside of IT and how it’s utilized by the company. McKendrick quotes Gartner Analyst David Willis, explaining that the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) would act as the place where “the enterprise meets the customer.” Willis goes on to explain what impact the CDO will have on the CIO’s current role:
So CIOs will be relegated to the backoffice, back-room server stuff, while the CDO gets all the fun, get-the-attention-of-management stuff, such as cloud, social, mobile and Big Data? Gartner says there is a highly visible role for CIOs as well: “CEOs want their CIOs to make their impact felt where the enterprise meets the outside world. They want the CIO to unleash the forces that will differentiate their business. They don’t want the CIO spending all of their time automating the back office.”
Regardless of how the CIO is affected, the one thing will absolutely be important for the future is the focus on customer satisfaction. Without a complete focus on the customer, CIOs (and CDOs) of the future will ultimately fail at delivering what is needed and expected from the customers they are trying to support.