Will we witness the end of CIOs and CTOs? Are these technology leaders in danger of becoming irrelevant in the cloud age? Some argue that with the cloud you can essentially relinquish this level of corporate responsibility. Following this logic, CIOs and CTOs could soon be seen less as builders of business technology infrastructure and more as buyers and managers. Will the CTO or CIO of the future just buy all the cloud technology and then stop?
The answer is no. But the era of cloud, mobile, and social technology — where CEOs are bringing new software and technology to the business — means IT leaders must hone new skills or risk being demoted to the role of IT contractor. More than ever, CIOs and CTOs need to bring new ideas and perspectives on how their C-level roles can drive business growth. If they fail, both they and the companies they work for can be outdone by forward-thinking competitors.
Let’s take a closer look at the different roles of CIO/CTO, past and present – and the changes the cloud era demands from today’s business leaders in all aspects of operations.
Traditionally, CIOs and CTOs select and implement applications. Consumers must accept what the company gives them.
With the convergence of cloud, consumer and mobile technologies, consumers now feel empowered to choose what they want e.g. B. bring their own devices to work.
If a company’s IT department can’t move fast enough, any other department can now go online, find software applications as a service, and deploy those applications with relative ease. Then the CTO and his staff have to figure out how to manage all these new requests and devices, and how to monitor and maintain the customer-supplied infrastructure.
As CIOs and CTOs face competition in a whole new way, they need to be much more responsive and flexible to prove their worth and worth. They need to become better intermediaries for addressing the wide variety of cloud services available today and add value by offering a more responsive suite of services and better overall value for the business.
Beyond internal infrastructure, changes in technology are changing how companies deliver their products and reach their customers. There is now a closer relationship between technological innovation and business innovation than ever before. The new product itself is a new way of providing traditional services. Thus, CIOs and CTOs need to engage more strategically in business and product development while protecting the organization’s existing business. They couldn’t succeed if they were simply forced to take technology contracts. Those times are long gone.
The business strategy component is becoming increasingly important to the relevance and success of executive-level technology professionals. Organizations with a strategically minded CIO or CTO will do well. Those whose CIOs or CTOs tend to wait for direction from other C-level colleagues are bound to fall behind in their industry.
However, some core competencies of senior technologists remain important, despite the claims of many cloud proponents.
It is important for executives to understand that cloud options do not completely replace on-premises infrastructure; they improve it. As a result, organizations need more expertise in app development with a wider range of skills, not less. Internal application developers must be able to build solutions that span both cloud and on-premises resources, deploying and leveraging the inherent capabilities of the technology without sacrificing processes that differentiate and provide a competitive advantage.
Plus, businesses in most industries still want to store the most secure information locally. These companies must have their own customized solutions that integrate cloud resources and on-premises resources to achieve the best combination of availability, low cost, reliability and security.