CIOs become more accountable to the Board

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We are now seeing more than 44% of CIOs are reporting to the CEO compared to the CFO and key members in the executive teams compared to the past. A Forbes article, based on SunGard research, claimed that the change in reporting lines was a sign that the CIO role was receiving increased levels of recognition at executive level. This is not surprising given how important technology has become in the digital age.

“Today we are seeing technology moving centre stage within every organisation, sitting at the forefront of the customer experience and interaction, driving innovation in products and services, enabling new business models and underpinning business transformation”, said Craig Ashmole, founding Director of London based IT consulting, CCServe Ltd. “Its no wonder then Corporations are more likely to be re-organising to ensure that their technology leader is reporting to the CEO rather than historically the CFO or other executives.”

But how important is the CIOs reporting line? Does it really make a difference to their performance and contribution to the organisation? The CIO 100, which is produced annually by the UK version of CIO Magazine, identifies the most transformative CIOs in the UK. The list recognises those CIOs that are “driving process improvement, using technology to delight customers and the workforce, realising efficiencies and enabling their organisation to remain relevant as a digital revolution sweeps across our economic environment.” 55% of the CIOs on the 2013 CIO 100 reported to their organisation’s CEO. This is significantly higher than the proportions reported in the SunGard and State of the CIO surveys. But then these are the top CIOs in the UK. So there does seem to be a definite correlation between performance and reporting lines for CIOs.

From a technology perspective, Cloud computing and consumerisation are two of the most transformative trends in enterprise IT today.  CIOs and Exec IT Directors have to make a clear decision to move with the times ensuring to build a transformation programme that delivers what your company needs, or be left on the side line.

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, business users now expect to be able to work wherever they are, whenever they want, on whatever device they choose. “What we are seeing is; should the corporate systems not be in place to make that happen, there’s a slew of mobile cloud apps and other cloud services that users can turn to, leaving IT out of the equation”, says Craig Ashmole.

But mobile cloud apps are only the tip of the iceberg. Cloud computing and consumerisation can affect every aspect of IT, from application development to application delivery and from data storage to data security. The many news articles, featured expert reports and white papers we read on a daily basis explain how mobile cloud apps, cloud storage services and other cloud computing applications are changing IT — but importantly IT can embrace this shift, while maintaining security and control.

Consulting in “bite size chunks”

During our consulting we find more often than not, that CIOs and Senior IT Executives are definitely becoming more accountable to their respective Board of Directors, so its about building executive awareness with a clear path that the CIO should be considering as we move the IT function into the Twenty Twenties.

This now requires senior skilled “new-world” individuals to support the CIO function in both the short and medium term. Legacy skills typically inherent in most IT departments today are lacking what we believe is required to move to the next stage of IT Business Transformation. Often due to the fear of putting ones self out of a job role.

“To that end, we have assess to an interim team of experienced and knowledgeable resources to focus on the needs and demands for this change, bringing together the experience and the understanding with a structured process”, Craig Ashmole confirms. “We bring this together in a manner that formulates solutions CIOs require to make these necessary changes, while building the IT Department in the process.”

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