Role of the CIO throughout History [Part 3]

18 Nov

As the third and final part of this informative analysis on the evolution of CIO’s, the role of the CIO during the web-based era will be detailed. In this era the role of the CIO continued to become more respected and widespread in the executive circles. Indeed unlike the mainframe era especially, the executives took more heed of the opinion and allowed the CIO’s more input into potential developments in IT and web applications. In the article from Ross and Feeney from 1999, they cover what they perceive to be occurring in the evolution of the CIO as the web-based era was admittedly in its infancy.

In reading the article, it is plain to see that both Feeney and Ross slightly misjudged the future developments of the CIO. They predicted an era of enlightenment almost within which the CIO would develop into an all knowing expert of IT and would “… [take responsibility] for defining an organization’s strategic future”. They proclaimed that the CIO would evolve into the leader of the executive team who would influence the organization at the “highest level”.

In the following years after the publication of this article, the developments of the CIO have been quite different. Especially during the economic downturn, all aspects of business have been scrutinised and discrepancies have been rooted out and been thrown up for debate. The much discussed ‘Productivity Paradox’ has been a main issue and the question has been frequently asked ‘If IS does not contribute towards a profitable conclusion, what is the function of the CIO?’

Inevitably, this has drawn speculation on the future of CIO’s as the blame for the lack of a clear ROI from IS has been placed squarely at the door of the CIO.  One development was the creation of a new executive position which effectively split the work of a CIO and the Chief Technology Officer became an executive position.  




3 Responses to “Role of the CIO throughout History [Part 3]”

  1. anon100 November 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Very interesting piece oconnormatty. The role of the CIO has certainly expanded hugely in the last 15 years. You say however that the modern CIO is under increased scrutiny with IS’ capability to aide the pursuit of profit in doubt. As a result do you think the role of the CIO will actually contract in the future?

  2. thestrategicblogger November 19, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Good post do you think the creation of the role of Chief Technology Officer has solved the “productivity paradox”? The role of the C.I.O. seems to have diminished with the development of roles such as C.T.O. and Chief Strategy Officer much differently to the predictions of Feeney and Ross. As the importance of I.S. to firms has increased the responsibility has fragmented.

  3. oconnormatty7 November 22, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Thanks for the comments! In response to anon100 I think it is possible that in the future the role of the CIO will not necessarily contract but perhaps alter its essence to fit its organizational environment and business surroundings. As regards the “productivity paradox” ‘thestrategicblogger’, I’m not sure can anyone know whether it is solved in such short time period. I think such a complex predicament requires a review after an extended period of time and at this time, if solved, then the analysis as to what contributed towards its solution can be properly investigated.

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