Shifting Roles in the C Suite Put Pressure on the CIO

Kevin Turner spoke about the changing role of the CIO at the recent CeBIT Trade Fair in Hanover, Germany.

As consumerization rolls across the enterprise, it’s having a profound effect on IT of course, but the changes are actually rolling all the way through the executive suite as roles shift to account for new ways of operating in the enterprise.

The was the conclusion of Microsoft COO Kevin Turner when he spoke recently at the CeBIT Trade Fair in Hanover, Germany.

Turner said over the years, he’s watched as his role has changed and gotten more difficult in many ways. ¬†And one of the main factors driving that role change is the fact that consumers have more technological capability in their pockets in many cases than they have at the workplace.

Meanwhile, Turner says, the CFO is suddenly not only involved in basic enterprise finance, he or she is now becoming the Chief Procurement Officer and closely overseeing each purchase the CIO makes to be sure it provides business value.

Suddenly there are all these different roles and responsibilities and interactions that everyone must learn to negotiate.

And the CIO is also under pressure from the COO and CEO to be more innovative and agile.

All of this is leading to changes in the CIO’s role as users bring more consumer technology into the work place. Today, the CIO is expected not just to find the best technology for the job as he or she sees it, but now they need to create business value. It’s a tremendous challenge to balance the best technology at the best price while making sure it jibes with a changing business landscape and provides overall value to the business unit.

Talk about pressure on the CIO.

Turner says he’s been around long enough to see the department names shift from Data Processing to Information Services to Information Technology (IT). And now Turner says the CIO is shifting from technology leader to business leader, a role within a role.

Turner doesn’t see this changing role as burden necessarily though. Instead, he sees it as an opportunity, one that gives the CIO the chance to get out in front of these trends instead simply reacting to each new thing.

We all knew that consumerization was having an impact on IT pros, but what you might not have realized as Turner articulated, that it’s having a ripple effect across the C-Suite and causing all kinds of role changes.

While each organization probable feels these changes to a different degree, chances are if your boss is under pressure, then so are you and you need to understand the factors bringing this pressure and the impact it’s having across the organization before you can help.

Photo by Ron Miller. Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

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