Cloud computing and the CIO: What's best for your business?

Is the role of the CIO (chief information officer) still intact after the introduction and rapid advancement of cloud computing? According to a report by Advanced 365, cloud computing is one of the 12 disruptive technologies that are changing the nature of business.

The CIO was initially called the data processing manager and then the title evolved to management information system director. Their main objective is to innovate in line to the IT vision of their company.

The role of the CIO has been evolving over time and today, three types of CIOs have emerged, fitting into different roles within a company.

First, there is the CIO as an entrepreneur, who finds ways to innovate with the goal of commercial viability in mind. Then there is the CIO as a manager, who has his focus on the commercial success of a business and may not be much of an ideas person.

The last type is the CIO as a leader. This type plans and organises for the future of the business, mostly with long-term goals in mind.

Is it possible to find all these types of CIOs in one person? Most companies look for at least two but it is not entirely impossible to find a leader, a manager and a CIO as an entrepreneur all rolled into one, a good case example being Steve Jobs.

Today, companies are more likely to hire tech-savvy directors, as boards of directors expect more tech-oriented reports from their employees.

Currently, 27 per cent of boardrooms are unhappy with the quality of the technical information they receive, according to reports from The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).

The question therefore is; in this mix-up, how does cloud computing impact the role of the CIO? First, it depends on the type of CIO a company has in place.

Cloud computing best complements the CIO as a manager because it reduces IT costs, enhances automation and ensures that the bigger goal of any IT manager - that is, the goal of an effective, cheap and efficient IT system - is achieved.

To achieve the company's goals and be able to take advantage of any emerging technologies, it is very important for the board to work closely with the CIO, especially cloud computing, which is widely accepted to be a key trend in the world of business.