Technological revolutions such as the emergence of cloud computing and social media have made CIOs readjust their roles. Here is a look at why their roles changed thanks to these innovations.
Why CIOs roles are changing
With the popularity of cloud computing and big data analytics, CIOs must balance their current responsibilities while also determining which of these current trends their businesses should use. For many CIOs, this may mean changing their responsibilities within their company.
Using the example of cloud computing, here are several ways this new technology forces CIOs to change their responsibilities:
- Less maintenance: Many CIOs oversee their organization’s servers and networks, but with cloud computing, service providers do this for them. Further, service providers update software as new versions become available so CIOs don’t have to manage this aspect either.
- Change in expenditures: When companies transition their software and data over to cloud service providers, CIOs must determine how much their companies should pay for these services, while also reducing cost on storage hardware they no longer need.
- Change in role: With many organizations moving to cloud-based technologies, CIOs discover they play a more strategic role within their organization’s structure since they have the time to focus on strategic planning instead of daily maintenance tasks.
Overall, these changes can sometimes lead to greater leadership opportunities for CIOs. According to IT News Africa, 67% of CIOs have more leadership roles outside of IT. This illustrates just how important CIOs are in transitioning their companies to these new technological trends.
How CIOs can Adapt
Simply, when companies decide to transition to new technologies, the CIOs can display their value in multiple ways. Here is a look at some of the roles they can fill:
- Chief Digital Officer: According to Gartner, one in five CIOs already fill the role of the CDO. The CDO is responsible for helping their companies in digital commerce while also identifying new technologies that can benefit their businesses.
- Chief Outsourcing Officer: When organizations decide to try cloud computing, the COO’s job is to determine which programs, software and data the company decides to outsource and which ones they should keep within their company.
- Chief Cloud Broker: One of the biggest adjustments for CIOs is when they take on this role. By finding a reputable service provider that offers secure cloud-based platforms, the CCB’s primary role is to build a relationship with that service provider to ensure the provider is able to meet the organization’s needs. This role is more relationship-based than the traditional CIO’s role of problem solver.
- Chief Insight Officer: One of the best ways CIOs can show their value is by providing their companies with well-analyzed data so the executive board can make sound business decisions.
- Chief Innovation Officer: The CIO explores new ways to conduct business by researching technological trends and determining which trends are right to employ for their businesses. In this case, the CIOs becomes more like business engineers, as they research and develop innovative ways to keep their company up to date on the latest technological offerings.
Ultimately, CIOs have shown a remarkable ability to adapt to emerging technologies. As technologies such as cloud-based platforms continue to rise in popularity, the role of the CIO will continue to evolve.
According to a survey conducted by GFI, 77% of the IT admins surveyed said their job was stressful. There are many reasons for this: they must maintain systems regularly, troubleshoot problems with applications, and make sure security tools are updated and running efficiently.
Combined, these tasks take up much time and can often lead to stress and longer work hours. One solution for IT admins to consider is cloud computing.
Assistance in the Cloud
Cloud computing can take some of these daily burdens away and give IT leaders more time to focus on strategic development instead of daily maintenance tasks.
Here are just some of the many benefits cloud computing offers IT admins:
- Automatic updating: Since the service provider for the cloud updates software, it means that is one less thing IT admins have to worry about.
- Easier storage options: Similarly, cloud platforms give organizations a way to securely store their data, which means that IT doesn’t have to spend time maintaining storage hardware.
- Versatility: Accessing programs through cloud-based platforms is much easier: all the employee needs is a reliable internet connection. This means that employees can access their data from the office, home, or even a coffee shop.
- Uniformity: Since everything is internet based, IT professionals can access this information from remote machines. This means that they don’t have to spend time installing programs on every company computer.
- Reduced workload: In the same survey by GFI, sixty percent of IT admins say they work at least six hours of overtime a week now. However, with all the benefits that cloud computing offers, it may reduce their work weeks or at least give them the opportunity to do some of this work from home.
Unexpected Value of the Cloud
When companies switch to cloud computing, it changes the role of IT professionals. Instead of spending their days maintaining software, they can become more hands-on in developing new strategies to help their businesses grow to meet their customers’ needs.
A great example of this is Electronic Arts. When the company moved some of its programs to a cloud-based platform, there was concern that the IT department may have to cut jobs or that the department would lose money.
Instead, what they discovered was that the company’s IT department didn’t have to spend time on maintenance. Instead, IT was able to spend more of their days strategically planning developments that would help drive revenue. In short, IT aligned its vision with the larger company’s vision, creating a win-win situation for all.
Companies need IT professionals more than ever when transitioning to cloud platforms. Therefore, IT admins who can adapt quickly to change become even more valuable to their company; in some instances, they can develop a strategic role in helping their company plan for the future.
Ultimately, cloud computing offers a versatile array of benefits that can make the jobs of IT admins easier. Considering the daily stress already put on them, cloud computing represents an opportunity for them to lessen their workload. Meanwhile, it frees up time for IT leaders, allowing them to pursue collaborative opportunities with other company decision-makers.