The role of the CIO in the C-Suite in 2020

Today’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) looks very different from 35 years ago.

The modern CIO has changed perceptions of their job role, emerging from the back office to become a major player. Back in the ’80s, a CIO was confined to the IT department. Today’s CIO innovates, strategizes, and works with the whole organization.

The changing focus of the modern CIO

If you’re a CIO, your priorities have likely changed a lot in recent years. Network threats are more prevalent than ever — in 2018 alone, hackers stole half a billion personal records. You’re now “gatekeeper” of your company’s intellectual assets and resources. And if data gets compromised, you’ll get the blame.

In a recent CIO Magazine survey, CIOs said “keeping their organization safe” is now their top priority for organizational change. This of course includes cybersecurity, but also covers data protection compliance and cyber resilience. Other organizational priorities for the modern CIO include debt reduction, increasing the company’s digital footprint, modernizing governance, “killing” the data center, and analytics.

There’s also been a change in spending habits. Over the years, the CIO’s role has shifted from one of value preservation to value creation:

“Because IT is the backbone of most business functions, technology investments represent a growing percentage of corporate spending, and many organization stakeholders expect these investments to be aligned with business strategy,”

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Jo Birtle

Jo Birtle

Jo Birtle is the Director of Demand Generation for Professional Services at Unit4. She has 20+ years marketing experience predominantly in the tech industry, where she has worked for two leading cloud ERP companies, both focused on providing software solutions for the professional services sector.