Throughout recent years, the role of the CIO has been subjected to many rapid changes and developments. The continuously evolving technological advances in the workplace play a major part in this, but so do many other factors. The following are five ways that have contributed to the evolution of the CIO role over the years:
The CIO has transitioned from maintaining IT systems to innovating technical business strategies
Traditionally, the role of the CIO was to manage and operate an organization's IT systems. However, the heavy convergence of IT with various fields has turned the tables. Rather than just maintain the technical aspect of the organization, they have also assumed the responsibility of utilizing IT for the company's benefit. CIOs are now expected to develop IT related business solutions and help integrate them into the core of the company. They are also tasked with strengthening current IT systems to efficiently increase revenue.
CIOs have become multidimensional C-level executives
Due to the ever-increasing importance of technology in most companies, CEOs now keep their CIOs close. Yet while CIOs are still responsible for the company's use of IT, in many cases the projects they work on go beyond their line of work. Consequently, they must be well versed in a myriad of other fields to be able to perform their tasks correctly and without problems.
CIOs are now strategic drivers of the company's vision
Today, CIOs are tasked with assessing their company's situation and how far it is from achieving its objectives. They then use IT to create innovative strategies that can bring the organization closer to reaching its goals. CIOs have become visionaries who study examples of successful businesses and learn from their best practices. This gives them ideas and inspiration for creating valuable business solutions.
CIOs have been assigned the role of ensuring that their company's IT systems comply with new laws and regulations
Most companies are now obliged to adhere to cyber security regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). CIOs have assumed the responsibility of ensuring that their organizations comply with such laws. Additionally, the rising fear of cyber crime has been keeping them busy trying to find strong, efficient and innovative cyber-security solutions to ensure that their companies remain protected.
CIOs are tasked with reducing the business's operating expenses
They do this by uniting the technology and business aspect of the organization through building and maintaining sustainable relationships with the company's executives. Additionally, outsourcing non-vital IT jobs to external organizations helps the company concentrate on its core initiatives and goals. Doing so makes it easier for the CIO to manage and reduce expenses.