Why the Role of the CIO Is Constantly Changing and Challenging

Allyson BarrChief Marketing Officer
3 min read

Back in the days, the role of the CIO was relatively clear: the focus was on deploying, managing, and maintaining IT systems across the organization. The CIO’s responsibilities started to blur when end-users became more tech-savvy - around the millenium. Reasons were that ‘they can now get their own technology and don’t need IT to do it for them’. This even led to the much-repeated “death of the CIO meme”. Moreover, in the year 2000 commentators in the Harvard Business review contemplated whether CIOs were becoming obsolete, due to the fact that every employee needed to be an information officer.

Fast forward to 2021 and the role of the CIO is definitely not obsolete. On the contrary, it’s becoming more and more important. The scope of the role has changed massively though - and we are sure it will continue to do so. Let’s find out why.

Great IT is crucial for enterprises to be successful

IT is at the core of every enterprise: whether the actual product or service offered is an IT product or IT is used for shipping, sales, customer service - it’s almost impossible to imagine life without it. This also means most customers - dare we say it - are a little spoiled. Many end-users are so used to using great IT products, that they do not accept bad user experience - let alone outages. Moreover, if one app or platform doesn’t match their expectations, they can often easily switch to another one.

Because of these high expectations and the possibility to switch easily, the stakes are much higher. This is even more true for companies in branches where IT is at the heart of their product or service (such as the financial services industry). For this reason, many enterprises have found themselves looking for strategic CIOs: someone who is concerned with IT performance related to overall business performance instead of ‘just’ focusing on IT operations and tactics.

IT environments are becoming more and more complex

We live in a world of rapid change and chaos. Whether you look at the pandemic, causing billions of people to work from home and rely heavily on IT, or - on the positive side - how we as human beings are ever-evolving and growing. We’re coming up with new (tech) ideas, we’re inventing things - always looking for smart ways to make our lives easier. And because of the IT knowledge we’ve built in the past decades, better versions of IT products are created in - what seems like a - a blink of an eye.

We believe this is a fantastic era to live in, both for creators and end-users. On the other hand, however, it goes along with quite some challenges for creators. Due to continuously changing customer needs and the ability to build new tools and platforms at lightning speed, the IT stack of an average Fortune 500 company has become highly complex and ever-changing. Nowadays, IT stacks consist of many different tools, apps, platforms that were built internally, externally, in the cloud, on a server, you name it. In addition to keeping these systems running alongside each other, many of them also need to work with each other. That is why enterprises continue to rely heavily on a CIO with a great helicopter view: someone who oversees their complex IT infrastructure and adapts quickly to ever-changing and chaotic circumstances.

How to align with your ever-changing role as a CIO

The question is not whether or not the role of the CIO is important - that is evident. The fact is that the role is changing into a much more strategic one.

So as a CIO, how can you manage your dynamic and complex tech stack, while at the same time taking into account business impact? How do you consolidate all your operational data into a clear picture, so that you can make strategic decisions that help the business?

Download our free whitepaper

That is exactly what Intellyx discusses in this free whitepaper: A CIO’s View of Observability: The Key to Balancing Strategic and Operational Needs. A tip of the veil: you do not need more people, more war rooms, more manually created dashboards that were very time-consuming to create, in order to find dependencies and root cause. Download the whitepaper to find out what will help you - in an efficient and effective way.