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Recommended Reading: The Shifting Role of the CIO

Recently, we’ve noticed much debate around the shifting roles of the CIO within the enterprise. Gartner has predicted that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs. In this shifting landscape, the CIO’s role will need to be focused on bringing innovation to business and figuring out how to drive products to market sooner.

We came across an interesting article on ComputerWorld that discusses this very topic. The article, entitled “CIO of the future: Innovator or ERP baby sitter?” argues that IT has been branded as the technology managers, rather than innovators. For many businesses, the IT department is merely responsible for executing technology deployments, instead of driving the strategy behind business process transformations. Even further, now that many of the execution functions have been outsourced or placed in the cloud, the CIO role is beginning to diminish.

However, CIOs can move past this pigeonholed reputation by demonstrating their expertise in business process innovation. According to the article, business process innovation should be based on three things:

  1. A management practice. How you go from one step to another, such as order to cash, record to report, hire to retire, etc.
  2. An outcomes management discipline:  It's about getting work done faster, cheaper, better by monitoring, measuring and improving what you do every day.
  3. Only then is it about technology, which may explain why IT isn't the first thing that comes to mind when many IT executives think business process innovation.

While there are some perceptual stereotypes to overcome, CIOs and IT departments should see the opportunity to collaborate with their business counterparts and insert themselves into the business innovation process. After all, no one knows how technology can help drive the business forward better than the CIO.

Do you have any opinions on how CIOs can differentiate themselves within the enterprise? Let us know your thoughts below.

Topics: Paperless ERP