Surviving the Digital Revolution: IT’s New Role with the C-Suite

" src=Anyone who’s gotten their hands stuck in a Chinese finger trap knows that you have to push in the wrong direction to set yourself free. That’s the approach that Aaron Rudger suggests CIOs take in their quest to overcome new trends in IT. In an article for Wired Innovation Insights, Rudger argues that with each new digital “torrent,” CIOs find themselves increasingly overwhelmed by their own technology game. Paradoxically, the only way to win is to focus less on technology, and more on the business end. 

IT Doesn’t Matter?

Is IT becoming obsolete? Tech writer Nicholas Carr suggested as much in his 2003 Harvard Business review article titled “IT Doesn’t Matter.” In the decade since that article was written, one can find evidence both in support of and in opposition of this view. Mostly, the extent to which IT evolves and thrives rests upon the approach of its leaders, its CIOs.

The CIO’s Cup Runneth Over

The current state of tech evolution might be described as a “cup runneth over” scenario. IT does not have a big enough cup and the business is scrambling to catch the overflow.   

The proliferation and volume of devices with which consumers can access digital content has converted a niche into a transformative global industry. The use of apps that customers use to purchase goods on devices – such as games or publication subscriptions has become a significant industry. The volume of such purchases was almost zero in 2009 and by 2013, sales totaled nearly $6 billion.

Conflating bits and bottom lines causes companies to lose customers at a rate of 10-30% per year. But bringing IT and the business together as a joint force would considerably stem this setback.

Doubters: Prove them Wrong

Putting a set of common metrics in place would ensure that the divide is sealed and profits retained. But in order for any meaningful changes to occur, Rudger asserts that CIOs need to get out of the back office and in front of company execs. There are still doubters who think that IT has gone the way of an infrastructure utility. CIOs, prove them wrong.  

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