Chief process disruption innovation officer

What's in a title? SOA may create some new roles.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

It may be the biggest change since 'personnel' managers became 'human resource' managers. In SOA nirvana, software developers will become "composers," DBAs will become "repository keepers," CIOs will become "chief process innovation officers," and the rest of us will just be plain old "disruptive innovators."

These are the titles SAP board member Shai Agassi says will emerge as a result of the drive to SOA, cited in a recent article by Josh Greenbaum in Optimize. Greenbaum predicts that we're going to see a lot of job titles evolve, but CIO will hang in there -- barely:

"The marriage of IT and business in the process-driven world of service architectures and model-based development will require a lot more than just programmers, systems analysts, and software engineers. The good news is that there will still be a definitive need for a chief information officer. The bad news is that as SOAs proliferate, CIOs who remain merely CIOs will see their significance diminish significantly over time."

However, Greenbaum predicts that at least in the short term, "SOAs should herald another era of empowerment for CIOs," since SOA requires an significant architecture shift.

What will folks with these fancy new SOA-inspired titles be doing? Greenbaum provides some clues:

Composers: "will assemble new applications by stringing well-defined processes together into composite applications." 

Repository keepers: will manage repositories, "keep them up to date, and otherwise ensure that they work well in a distributed service architecture."

Chief process innovation officer: This title may begin to replace that of CIO, Greenbaum says. "When the building blocks of business change are no longer as much about technology as they are about business process, 'information technology' will cease to be as important as 'process innovation.'"

Disruptive innovators: "The competitive edge of a business will be defined more by what disruptive innovators can do with process innovation than what programmers and software developers can do with traditional IT."

My personal favorite has always been "chief evangelist," which I imagine may have some job duties usurped into the disruptive innovator position.

Editorial standards