A PROVOCATIVE THOUGHT: THE FUTURE OF THE CIO

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][styledbox type=”general_shaded” icon_color=”#9e9e9e” height=”25″][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] Note from the IGI: In this guest post, Maurice Labrie, Director of Product Portfolio at Charter Supporter and CIGO Summit Platinum Sponsor Iron Mountain, shares his ponderings on the CIO role after attending the 2015 CIGO Summit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/styledbox][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]I had the privilege of recently attending the CIGO (Chief Information Governance Officer) Summit in Chicago. The inspirational day was packed with candid discussion, knowledge sharing and collaborative thinking. Throughout the conversations I found myself processing some data points that didn’t come up during the often intense dialogue. So, in the spirit of what IGI represents, I decided to put some of these thoughts down and share them with others.

One of the things we did was explore the origin and role of the CIO to relate how it can inform the new CIGO role. The CIO came into being to ensure that technology infrastructure and related resources are sufficient to support critical business objectives. I believe in time this role will be marginalized as “computing as a service” reshapes the demands and responsibilities associated with this job description. No longer will they be responsible for managing massive in-house teams or massive in-house platforms. The entire context of the CIO position will shift towards managing a sourced ecosystem. Computing power and capabilities will be supplied by 3rd parties who have their own resources to ensure service continuity and development of features that address specialized facets of business operations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]I thought to myself….how will the CIO role be recast or will it? As the responsibilities associated with the CIO position erode into an emptiness, how will this emptiness be filled? Will their role shift into a new information 2015 CIGO Summitparadigm? Perhaps managing the information itself as opposed to the systems that enable creation, access and distribution? I don’t see CIO’s maintaining the political stature they have today into the future without something changing. Given the likely track for the CIO, there’s an opportunity to create a path of least resistance in organizations to advance information governance. This path could ultimately realize the benefits of a CIGO by redefining how the role of the CIO can be repurposed to address a new range of information responsibilities as existing responsibilities become displaced.

I also thought to myself, what about the onslaught of data scientists who are just now emerging into the mainstream. Who will they report to? They are coming, fast and in droves. Who they report to – my guess, absent a change in structure, will be up through IT, the CIO. This is because they need technology to do what they do, DSC_5851so there’s a natural relationship to the IT function. In reality, the output of what they do is “intelligence” and that intelligence is intended to support critical business objectives (sound familiar?). Data science output will be consumed by multiple internal customers, sales & marketing, finance and legal being the primes. One could argue that data science will be a shared service (which is what IT is). Data science is the power card – he who holds these resources owns information governance (as it what enables the informed insights).

Then I thought perhaps the whole role of IT will shift from systems to data. The age old question of who owns the data – or information – is always answered “the line of business”. I think that, too, will shift – information will become a common asset of the collective organization. Some group in the organization will be responsible for this and a logical place is IT given its lineage and position. Intelligence will be a shared service and it will be 2015 CIGO Summitsourced from aggregated data. Aggregation requires technology, and thus I believe will end up in the province of IT. It could be that each organizational function builds an independent data science team (Analytics and Insight) but I don’t see this model staying around for long – given it will eventually be recognized as a shared service and adjusted accordingly. I suspect unless something changes soon, data scientists will report into IT and IT will evolve into a new discipline area, which includes data intelligence and information governance. Strangely enough, the timing of this change shift to data scientists will be offset by the decline in skilled professionals who work on internal systems infrastructure, storage and development. It’s safe to assume that forward thinking CIO’s will be looking for a way to sustain their meaningful presence, and data science is one way to preserve their importance.

The reality of instilling information governance into any organization is balanced by cost and a return on that cost. I believe there’s an opportunity to infuse information governance into daily operations of business by leveraging the CIO as they navigate the transformation of IT.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]