CIO, career is over?

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Job security in IT -- for both vendors and users -- has “gone forever”. One in 10 jobs at vendors will move to emerging markets, while one in 20 will go on the user side each year, the latest research from Gartner predicted.

Outsourcing, static or declining budgets and demands for better performance mean the chief information officer role (CIO) must change or face the chop, Garner warned. As a result, job losses will be staggering in mature markets such as Australia and the United States and the CIO role is the “most difficult and demanding of all management roles”.

"The CIO, as we know it, is a dying breed. We are seeing the role reinvented. On the one hand, we see a high-profile executive role as CIOs work on the demand side with the business. On the other, we see the industrialisation of the IT world. It has become standardised and packaged,” said Gartner EXP research director, Andy Rowsell-Jones.

"Running many IT services has become far more transaction-based, as if it has moved from brain surgery to producing soccer balls. Software for something as complex as a global supply chain is now coming out of a box -- literally," said Rowsell-Jones.

Jose Ruggero, Gartner EXP vice-president added: "Today and tomorrow's CIO must lead like a CEO, analyse like a CFO and execute like a COO [chief operating officer]. It's the hardest job in a large organisation."

Gartner has termed the phrase 'IS Lite' to describe IT organisations that subscribe to the trends. Tell-tale signs of an IS Lite organisation are: process-based working; outsourcing; centres of excellence, and; application development embedded in the business. Some 83 per cent of 151 CIOs surveyed globally say that at least one of these four trends exists in their organisation, Gartner said. Staff resistance and lack of competency to deliver IT differently were the greatest hurdles to implementing change, the research also found.

According to Rowsell-Jones, some of the key responsibilities for a CIO of the future will be:
* IT leadership -- vision, business fusion and resource management
* Architecture development -– innovative design to industry standards
* Business enhancement -- process analysis, project and internal relationship management
* Technology advancement -- R&D, technology tracking and prototyping
* Vendor management -- contract negotiation, and performance and relationship management

"For IT to move from cost to value, competencies need to shift from technical towards business and behavioural," Rowsell-Jones said.

Ruggero and Rowsell-Jones will be presenting a discussion on the challenges confronting the CIO at Gartner's Symposium/ITxpo in Sydney from 11-14 November this year.


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