I recently read a blog post by Jim Stikeleather, the IT Conversation We Should Be Having, on research conducted over the past 2 years by The Harvard Business Review, The Economist, CEB (formerly known as the Corporate Executive Board), Intel, and TNS Global on how the role of the CIO and the IT department is changing.
Quoting directly from the blog post, "a simple summary of the work suggests that CEOs believe that CIOs are not in sync with the new issues CEOs are facing, CIOs do not understand where the business needs to go, and CIOs do not have a strategy, in terms of opportunities to be pursued or challenges to be addressed in support of the business."
Some of the key findings from their research is startling:
- Almost half of CEOs feel IT should be a commodity service purchased as needed
- Almost half of CEOs rate their CIOs negatively in terms of understanding the business and understanding how to apply IT in new ways to the business
- 57% of the executives expect their IT function to change significantly over the next three years, and 12% predict a "complete overhaul" of IT
- Only a quarter of executives felt their CIO was performing above his or her peers
Although we have been noticing a gradual change in the relationship between IT and the business and how organizations are viewing technology purchases, I am surprised with how fast this change is becoming the norm and the expectation.
It's going to be an interesting few years to watch how this paradigm shifts and also how it impacts vendors as they adapt their value propositions and relationships.