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CIOs: 3 Roles You'll Be Asked to Take On Next

The role of the CIO is changing quickly 60% of CIOs own at least one non-IT functional area (up from 44% in 2013). This is not an indication that the CIO’s role has got any easier, or that it requires much less time than it did in previous years.

As data from CEB’s IT Budget Benchmark show, it explains instead how much more important technology has become to the rest of the business, and how this has raised the CIO’s profile. It might also explain why the role of the IT chief of staff has become so much more prominent – they take on the work relinquished by the increasingly busy CIO.

The Three Most Common Additional Responsibilities

As CIOs begin to spread their wings, CEB data show that the three most common additions to their responsibilities are the following, ranked from high to low.

  1. Business analytics: The share of CIOs owning business analytics has doubled from 15% to 30% in a year. This number is only set to increase, as our latest IT budget benchmark data shows that information-intensive capabilities now consume 33% of the IT project budget, including analytics, customer experience, and collaboration.

  2. Corporate procurement of indirect inputs: There has been a steady rise in the percentage of CIOs that take responsibility for procurement and vendor management.

    IT has always done a lot of sourcing so CIOs find themselves well equipped to broaden their responsibilities here. This often includes making sourcing policies and practices more flexible and better suited to new and emerging vendor models.

  3. Multi-functional shared services: CEB research shows a growing interest from senior managers around the world in transitioning to an “integrated business services” model.

    As many organizations explore how the IT services model can serve as a blueprint for organizational redesign, CIOs have an opportunity to lead this transition and broker consensus across the executive suite. In addition to their experience in making service models work in IT, CIOs’ cross-silo overview provides a useful vantage point to identify the right business departments to work with and the right services to integrate.

There are two things going on here. First, in areas such as business analytics and shared services, the use of technology has become difficult to separate from other business activities, so hybrid and integrated groups are emerging and the CIO is a natural candidate to take the lead.

Second, in the course of leading IT, CIOs have emerged as highly capable senior leaders with important experience in operations, strategy, talent development, project management, change management, and vendor management. CEOs recognize these strengths and want to exploit them by giving CIOs responsibility for other areas of the business.


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