• Big Data Talent
  • Experfy Editor
  • JUN 01, 2014

Big Data in the Evolution of the CIO Role

As the big data wave has conquered and transformed the universe around us, the role of the chief information officer (CIO) has continuously evolved through the last two decades. With the latest craze about the “Internet of Things” and operational analytics, the CIO has inherited a new image and new responsibilities as well. The prominence of the CIO will continue to rise so long newer IT (technological) innovations pervade the business ecosystem.

The present-day CIO carries both strategic and operational importance—vested with the immense responsibility of driving business success with data technology. The CIOs are single-handedly responsible for ensuring cost savings, enhancing agility and operational efficiency, and managing risks.  As the Wikibon has suggested, the CIO’s threefold roles are to run the business, grow the business, and transform the business:

“CIOs today have a top operational and strategic priority (not technology priority) to support the mission of the business through the application of technology. While they are under pressure to reduce costs, CIOs must deliver agility and efficiency to the organization. The CIO is also VERY concerned about risk. CIOs don’t want to disrupt what’s working while chasing new opportunities.”

But, vested with conflicting portfolio management, the CIO has to constantly strive and figure out ways to balance risk vs. rewards of a data-driven technology. Typical CIO portfolios reflect a combination of activities:

  • Run the Business (RTB) activities are low risk but considered top priority—consuming the highest financial resources. These activities are usually well defined and connected to existing revenue generation.
  • Grow the business (GTB) activities are core IT enabled business projects that earn revenue and keep shareholders happy.  In this, both the risks and rewards are equally critical.
  • Transform the business (TTB) activities are generally associated with new ventures and the returns are longer term. TTBs provision fresh opportunities and markets promising future growth.

The noteworthy statistics provided in the info-graphic may be summed up as:

  1. Successful CIOs invest more time on the business side rather than on the technology side of the enterprise.
  2. The total amount of IT hours required to manage a business is expected to drop by 25% by 2015.
  3. Cloud computing has been predicted to generate 21% savings annually.
  4. Out of the 10 highest paid CIOs, five are women. This is significant, given the fact that only 10% of the CIO positions at Fortune 500 are held by women.
  5. The top-five highest paid CIOs include three women: Margaret M. Mccarthy of Aetna ($5.11 million), Lori A. Beer of Wellpoint ($4.47 million), and Deborah Butler ($3.16 million) of Norfolk Southern.

Wikibon CIO Infographic


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