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Report: CIOs must adapt or become “obsolete”

CIOs must recommend and deploy new technologies rather than managing legacy IT systems if their roles are to remain relevant, claims new research released by IT services company Advanced 365.

The report, written with research firm Global Futures and Foresights (GFF), concluded that CIOs must play a leading role in driving business growth and innovation after drawing upon research and trends recorded by analyst firms such as Gartner, Forrester and PwC.

The report identified organisations are hiring more chief digital officers (CDOs) and chief strategic information officers (CSIOs) as they attempt to benefit from digitisation of products, services and operations.

It predicts that one quarter of all businesses worldwide will have appointed a CDO by 2015 and this is among the challenges the CIO role faces.

The study adds that in a number of organisations, 85 per cent of total IT output is focused on maintaining existing system and the remaining 15 per cent goes towards new initiatives.

This, along with the appointment of CDOs and CSIOs, highlights that companies are growing concerned about traditional IT models, claims the report.

“IT departments are often described as cautious, risk averse and only interested in operation matters,” claimed Neil Cross, Advanced 365 managing director.

“The appointment of CDOs and CSIOs indicates that many senior management teams are frustrated by the fact that IT remains centred on day-to-day maintenance as opposed to driving change and growth,” he added.

Cross also claimed that if CIOs can re-establish themselves as expert advisers to the board, the perception of IT will change for the better.