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The changing role of the CIO

Last updated:September 2019

Editor's note

As the digital economy takes hold, CIOs find themselves in transition. They're no longer just the operators of IT infrastructure and services. They must be the drivers of digital transformation, helping enterprises discover and build the business models required to thrive in this new digital business landscape.

How is the changing role of the CIO playing out on the job? Modern CIOs understand how digital technology can be used to create value for the business. They're digitizing operations; using emerging technologies, like robotic process automation and AI, to automate processes; crunching big data for business insights; and using the analytics and automation to improve the user and customer experience.

Read this essential guide on the changing role of the CIO to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing modern CIOs and the leadership skills they need to stay relevant in a digital age.

1CIO role expands amid the shift to digital business

The urgent business need for digital transformation has fundamentally changed the CIO role from IT operator to business strategist. This section on the changing role of the CIO dives into the expanding responsibilities of the CIO job and the requisite leadership traits. The ability to communicate the value of complex technology to the business is critical, as is the skill to drive and manage long-term change.

2Firsthand accounts from CIOs in the digital vanguard

Hear from leading CIOs how they are driving change by modernizing legacy systems, finding innovative ways to solve persistent business problems and using data to provide business insights in real time.

3C-level partnerships are a critical aspect of the changing CIO role

One of the biggest role changes for CIOs in recent years is their relationships with other C-level leaders, such as the CEO, CFO and chief marketing officer. As technology has become more critical to an enterprise's success, CIOs must demonstrate they understand the business well enough to be considered a trusted business strategist. At the same time, the C-suite has also seen a proliferation of IT executive roles, including positions like the chief digital officer and the chief data officer whose jobs sometimes overlap and compete with the role of the CIO. This section looks at the changing C-suite dynamics.

4Technologies 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 the business? It is up to the CIO to identify and implement technologies that ultimately bring business value. In this section on the changing role of the CIO, explore how machine learning, blockchain technology, augmented and virtual reality, the internet of things, and the cloud are transforming the CIO job.