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The changing role of the CIO

Digital transformation, new technologies and increased need for C-level engagement have forced CIOs to evolve. In this Essential Guide, explore the changing role of the CIO and strategies to adapt to the digital marketplace.


Waist-deep in the testy waters of a digital economy, CIOs find themselves in transition. They're no longer just operators of traditional IT infrastructure maintenance duties; they're multifaceted digital frontiersmen trying to find their place in an evolving enterprise. As technological advancements increase in pace, CIOs, too, must evolve with the changes and adapt to new roles and responsibilities.

Modern CIOs are tasked with the challenges of having to create business value, develop innovative business processes, deal with IT consumerization, take on the big-data challenge, drive the implementation of emerging technology, manage shadow IT and facilitate an increasingly mobile workforce.

How are they dealing with these challenges and, as a result, the changing role of the CIO? In this SearchCIO Essential Guide, we'll explore the top hurdles facing modern CIOs, how digital transformation is changing their roles, C-level business relationships that are essential to company success, the latest technologies that are reshaping the role of the CIO and strategic best practices to help them stay relevant in a digital enterprise.

This Essential Guide on the changing role of the CIO is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

1The modern CIO role-

Think you know the CIO?

One thing has become clear: The CIO position is constantly evolving to adjust to contemporary IT conditions and obstacles. In this section, gain valuable advice from business leaders and analysts about the changing role of the CIO, and find out what essential skills and concepts are necessary for CIOs to spark change within their businesses. Read on to get to know the CIO's role in a digital business environment and discover how to transcend current IT challenges.


GE CIO takes on the 'chief automation officer' role

Jim Fowler, CIO at GE, considers himself the company's chief automation officer. He explains what the role entails in this SearchCIO video interview. Continue Reading


Gartner Symposium 2017: Mastering digital business

Analysts and tech leaders at Gartner Symposium 2017 outlined what's required for CIOs to help their companies become true digital businesses. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Dunkin' CEO shares leadership advice for CIOs

Nigel Travis, CEO at Dunkin' Brands Group, shares leadership advice for CIOs, such as paying top dollar for top talent. "If you've got great people, reward them well," Travis says. Continue Reading

Blog Post

The many faces of the CIO: Adapting to new roles as CIO

A Deloitte survey of tech leaders suggests CIOs should not limit themselves when it comes to their role in the company: They must adapt to new roles and be ready to switch responsibilities when the IT needs of the company change. Continue Reading


The three approaches to business innovation

David Neitz, CIO at CDM Smith Inc., explains his company's three approaches to innovation -- incremental, sustaining and disruptive -- and how they can prove useful for other CIOs. Continue Reading

2CIOs and digital strategies-

Digitalization spurs new CIO priorities

CIOs are relied upon to lead their companies' digital advancements by creating an IT strategy that sets the course of innovation while accommodating digital initiatives. Does your digital strategy fit the industry standards? In this section, learn how digitalization is changing the role of the CIO, with tips on crafting an effective digital strategy and how to adapt to the changing enterprise landscape.


Digital transformation and the CIO

Matt Griffiths, vice president and CIO at Stanley Black & Decker Industrial, explains the role that CIOs play in driving their organization's digital transformation journey and enumerates the mistakes to avoid along the way. Continue Reading


The digital CIO: Traits for success

Business transformation expert Dan Morris explains why successful digital-era CIOs develop IT operations focused on rapid, minimally disruptive, low-cost, low-risk change. Continue Reading


Six changes coming to enterprise digitization by 2020

Enterprise digitization has become essential for modern companies to stay competitive. Read on to learn about the business model, consumer and workforce changes that will have the biggest influence on the digital enterprise by 2020. Continue Reading


What role will CIOs play in the platform business model?

The CIO's role in platform business model development has grown exponentially as platforms pick up steam and user ecosystems swell. Continue Reading


Digital CIOs must balance efficiency gains and innovation

In this video interview from MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, a CIO Leadership Award finalist discusses how to balance the efficiency and innovation demands of digital disruption. Continue Reading


Developing an IT strategy for the digital revolution

Get tips for building IT strategy in an age where the ability to balance the fast pace of change with system maintenance is key to creating business benefits. Continue Reading

Blog Post

IT skills adapt to digital future

Panel members at the 2016 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium shared their advice about how CIOs can attract and retain the industry's best talent to succeed in the digital future. Continue Reading

3C-level unity-

C-level partnerships benefit CIO role

The relationship between CIOs and the rest of the C-suite has never been more critical to business success than it is today. In this section, discover why C-level engagement is vital to CIOs and how these relationships impact the CIO position. Read on to understand what C-level relationships are most effective for business success and learn the best approaches for nurturing those relationships.


CIO success hinges on strong C-level relationships, engagement

CIOs are spending more time engaged with the chief marketing officer (CMO), CEO, COO and other non-IT peers, according to MIT research. C-level executives explain the value of that engagement. Continue Reading


AstraZeneca case study: The benefits of CIO-CISO partnership

Learn how the CISO-CIO relationship is fostering the pharmaceuticals company's cloud initiatives and data security processes. Continue Reading


Synergistic relationship between CIOs, CDOs important for business success

Modern CIOs and CDOs must understand each other's challenges and work together for their company's data strategy to remain successful. Continue Reading


Tips for CIOs: How to become a strategic business partner

Modern CIOs are strategic business partners to their boards and CEOs. John Petzold of Los Angeles-based global executive search firm Korn Ferry explains how the changing role of the CIO is driving company success. Continue Reading


Get past the stereotypes to form strong CIO-CMO partnerships

Anthony Christie, CMO at Level 3 Communications, discusses the importance of the CIO-CMO relationship in a digital economy. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Five ways to build the CIO-CFO relationship

Collaboration between the CIO and CFO is vital to business success. Read on to discover five tips to build and improve the CIO-CFO relationship. Continue Reading


CIO-CEO relationship critical to IT integration

Together, the CIO and CEO are responsible for promoting a great deal of technological change within their company. Read on to learn tips about getting CIOs and CEOs to work together for the digital good of the company. Continue Reading

4CIOs and changing tech-

Technologies influencing the changing role of the CIO

New, enterprise-rocking technologies are introduced all the time. What impact do these technologies have on IT and on CIOs? It is up to the CIO to identify and implement technologies that benefit the company's IT department -- and the bottom line. In this section, explore how machine learning, blockchain technology, augmented and virtual reality, the internet of things (IoT), and the cloud are transforming the CIO role.


Tips for CIOs: Implementing machine learning

Ed Featherston of Cloud Technology Partners details the steps that CIOs should take when implementing machine learning projects and offers advice on the nature of talent they should hire to help. Continue Reading


How cloud is changing the CIO role

O.C. Tanner CTO Niel Nickolaisen explains his experiences with implementing cloud strategy and sheds light on how much CIO roles have changed as cloud computing has become more prevalent in the enterprise. Continue Reading


IoT prompts CIOs to bridge divide between IT and operational technology

IoT is ready for enterprise adoption, but effective deployments require CIOs to enter the realm of operational technology. Continue Reading


How augmented and virtual reality can reshape the enterprise

With AR and VR technology being widely adopted by consumers, they are now quickly moving into the enterprise, according to experts at Deloitte Digital. CIOs must be ready to spearhead the change and implement these new technologies in their businesses. Continue Reading


Business implementation of blockchain technology

It is important for CIOs to lead the way in implementing blockchain technology, which could change the nature of transactions in many industries. Read this four-step guide to understand how to approach a blockchain implementation. Continue Reading

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