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May 29, 2014

CIOs at risk of becoming obsolete

Shift of focus from operational maintenance required.

By Ben Sullivan

CIOs need to ensure they prioritise business strategy over operational maintenance or else run the risk of becoming ‘obsolete’ a report has claimed.

CIOs must also look to play a leading role in driving business growth and innovation by recommending and deploying new technologies – as opposed to managing legacy IT systems – if their roles are to remain relevant.

Neil Cross, MD at Advanced 365, which carried out the report, said: "The report indicates that between forty and fifty percent of CIOs have yet to move beyond researching innovation-driving technologies such as mobile, the cloud and social media – and this is particularly worrying."

"CIOs need to work harder to meet the dual challenges of recommending technologies aligned to business strategy while continuing to ensure the smooth running of infrastructure and systems."

The report includes the results of a survey of 382 IT and non-IT business professionals.

When asked if IT is primarily a maintenance function as opposed to an innovation engine, 39% of IT professionals agreed, over half of non-IT professionals also agreed.

Cross said: "If CIOs can re-establish themselves as expert advisers to the board, trusted to make IT recommendations that are closely mapped to business strategy then the perception of IT will almost certainly change for the better. We work closely with CIOs and their teams to help them meet their strategic and operational goals and ensure that IT projects provide a tangible return on investment."

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The report concludes that the CIO needs to function as a manager, modernising systems via migration to the cloud; a leader, who finds new ways to use collaboration technologies to connect people; and an entrepreneur, who can integrate technology with strategy to provide tangible business benefits.

Here are CBR’s 5 ways to be a cutting-edge CIO.

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