Is IT succeeding in redefining its business role?

Ed Konopasek, VP, Cloud and Data Centre Solutions says evidence that CIOs are redefining the role of IT departments – from maintenance to a function that ensures business and technology work as one – is mounting up.

Is IT succeeding in redefining its business role?

In a recent post on this blog, Reshaping the CIO Role: The transformation gathers pace, Chris Gabriel pointed to research from Harvey Nash as evidence that CIOs are succeeding in transforming their own roles, and those of IT departments, to focus more on delivering direct business value.

He said CIOs facing a threat from Shadow IT and the cloud are: “…determined to respond by reshaping the CIO role – to focus on strategy rather than maintenance.”

There is plenty of truth in that statement, and the evidence is beginning to mount up – including a report from global consulting firm Protiviti.

The report shows that 63% of CIOs and IT professionals are noticing a “major IT transformation” happening in their organisations, as IT works to deliver more business value and tighten security measures. The respondents also noted a significant shift in IT’s activities, away from supportive activities (“keeping the lights on”) to become a key part of major business decisions.

In line with that focus, CIOs’ key priorities included:

  • Topics related to cyber security and managing data privacy consistently
  • Managing and securing ever-growing amounts of data, a process that will likely continue to grow in prominence
  • Adding business value - interestingly ranked a higher priority than securing company data, perhaps reflecting a growing view that data security and business planning should go hand-in-hand
  • Monitoring IT costs, reflecting the continued efforts to control IT spending against growing data and computing needs.

That is a to-do list I would very much expect to see from a CIO determined to redefine the role of IT as an internal service provider. These are the essential precursors to a transformation based on the agile and dynamic provision of technology-based business services – the ‘control foundations’ on which the service defined enterprise will be built.

Tags Role of IT, Role of CIO, IT Trends, Business Strategy