Disruptive technologies enable CXOs to bypass CIOs

by Sharon Lobo    Aug 16, 2013

Redundant CIO

In any organization, apart from being responsible for the IT infrastructure, the CIO has always been consulted by other CXOs, when it came to understanding implications of implementing a particular technology in the corporate environment. This trend resulted in the CIO being the one point contact for the organization whenever any technology related decision needed to be made, which is now gradually changing.

The last few years have witnessed a whole new level of consumerization of technology. The key drivers for this trend are the major uptake of technologies such as Cloud, mobility and social media. Additionally, in today’s uncertain business environment more and more companies find solace in outsourcing their IT infrastructure management to managed service providers or MSPs.

MSPs not only bring the required expertise to the table but can also be held accountable for their actions. But most importantly, along with technology vendors they enable various CXOs to directly interact with solutions related to their domain.

For instance, consider the CMO, today’s marketing technology has the power to provide CMOs with business insights and measurable results that historically have not been possible. From customer acquisition costs to customer lifetime value, as well as customer retention and marketing ROI, CMOs can now bring a true business view of marketing to the C-suite table. So it is not surprising when Gartner predicts that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.

Now let us take the example of the CFO. The CIO might have always been considered as the IT decision maker, however the final decision always rested with the CFO. It was the CFO, who majority of the time had the final call on which technology vendor or solution the organization should settle for based on the price tag.

However, in today’s world of outsourcing the CFO is more informed. As, Mark McDonald, GVP, Gartner, explains in his blog how outsourcing of back office functions give the CFO the direct operational experience in working with service providers who are actively responsible for their service levels to the organization.  This provides CFOs with the experience in service-based relationships, which has been the CIOs forte. 

This enables CFOs with the right experience and understanding of IT to actually directly oversee IT and thereby even make the CIOs role redundant.