CIOs will bridge the gap
With the age of the customer upon us, technology-fueled, customer-led disruption will continue to arrive unexpectedly at the doorstep of nearly every organization. Customers expect everything faster, better, cheaper, and at a higher degree of service.
CIOs will be instrumental in bridging that gap — but, their role will look much different than it does currently. Today, just 10 percent of CIOs are responsible for owning and driving digital strategy, innovation, and ultimately, disruption. By 2018, Forrester predicts that number will rise to 20 percent and another 50 percent of CIOs will co-own business outcomes that are tied to disruptive innovation and strategy.
To make that shift, successful CIOs will reshape the role they personally play in business and the role that technology management plays in building customer value. How? By driving a culture of customer obsession within their organizations, identifying and implementing innovations that drive customer engagement, and relentlessly working to create agility into their enterprises.
Organizations will look to new leaders
There's little question today that the CIO role is in the process of shifting and being re-imagined: A strong and visionary technology leader is needed to guide our businesses into the future. However, given the stance for the average CIO today on operational issues and mission-critical applications, the concern is that the role will always hamper the organization as enterprises increasingly centralize around digital business.
For now, the tactical side seems to be winning as the role is envisioned today. Other day-to-day issues crowd the plate of the CIO,too. A concordance of brand new concerns is crowding IT leaders' agendas as well. These range from rising public worries over data control and transparency, a raft of emerging policy and regulation issues related to issues such as national health care reform, to the ever-present need to update legacy IT portfolios while meeting a growing set of security threats.
These distractions are too much for one top executive to deal with and help sink the CIO role as the strategic technical leader of the typical company. With technology and business becoming ever more intertwined, many organizations will look to new leaders to bring their businesses forward into today's deeply digital, mobile, social, cloud-based, and data-driven marketplace.