CIOs assume business duties to prove position value

As innovations continue to advance, corporate information technology departments appear to be digging themselves deeper and deeper into a paradoxical ditch.

Oddly enough, the more sophisticated solutions that a chief information officer decides to employ throughout his or her company’s operations, the less this business needs an IT team. According to ZDNet, there are a number of tools – ranging from cloud computing to mobility – whose implementation has made organizations less dependent on their in-house tech professionals.

What makes IT stronger may kill tech positions
This drift away from onsite IT staff members is almost inevitable, much to some CIOs’ dismay. If chief information officers want to ensure that their jobs, in addition to those of their teams, remain intact, they would have to pass up adopting the latest tools. This, however, would be doing their companies a great disservice. Organizations lacking certain key technologies would likely lag compared to competitors that decided to incorporate efficient solutions into their day-to-day functions.

Chances are, most business executives would notice if their IT functions were not up to par. Because technology has become so ingrained in our overall society, members of the general public are now aware of all the modern advancements out there on the market. Consequently, the news source explained that company heads are probably going to assess their use of tech resources. They will have to make sure that CIOs have adequately equipped their operations with all of those buzzwords they’ve been hearing so frequently.

As a result, IT executives haven’t had much of a choice but to integrate popular innovations into their businesses’ systems – even if that means that they are causing their own jobs to become seemingly irrelevant.

Less tech staff, greater efficiency
For some companies, the new measure of efficiency is how few employees they have on staff – the concept of lean enterprise. Only with the absolute minimal number of personnel performing the necessary tasks at hand would many businesses deem their operations truly productive. Until they reach this point, though, those higher up in the corporate hierarchy could be searching for ways to pare down their personnel so that just the essential are left standing.

To prevent themselves from being labeled as excessive employees, CIOs and members of IT departments may want to start thinking about how they can prove useful to companies. This could mean that they have to shy away from purely tech work, showcasing any business skills that may complement their IT background.

CIO.com explained that this deviation from the entirely technical path should not necessarily be viewed as some sort of burden – it could actually end up being beneficial to most IT professionals. Even though change is not always the easiest to handle, some could find that becoming well-rounded will open up a number of career opportunities that they otherwise may have been overlooked.

In most cases, CIOs are taking on other responsibilities that are more business-heavy. In addition to these duties, IT executives are pinning supplementary positions to their job titles. There is now a decreasing number of professionals who are solely CIOs. Instead, there are CIOs and Vice Presidents who are juggling more than just the tech tasks of the past.

“The ‘and’ means a lot,” said Jean Holley, Group SVP and CIO at international container logistics firm Brambles. “When you have two titles and you’re at the table, you’re allowed to speak to things other than just IT. If you’re ‘just’ the CIO, you’re expected to speak to IT and that’s about it.”

Benefits of IT becoming business-savvy
With the emergence of dual titles throughout the IT workforce, more CIOs are able to better guarantee job security. The business aspect of their jobs ensures that they are still an asset to companies – even if those organizations are outfitted with technology tools that pretty much run themselves.

On top of this, the news source pointed out that these hybrid positions could mean more money for some professionals. As tech executives take on more responsibilities, they could be rewarded with additional compensation and experience.

If nothing else, these can help IT professionals develop their skills in a secondary area of expertise. This will allow them to build up their résumé credentials, showing that they worked in more than one high-ranking position. Because of this, they can construct a strong employment safety net, on which they can rely if they are ever in need of changing jobs.

Dual competencies to be more common
As firms continue to blend an increasing number of their business operations with IT functions, this two-fold talent will become more widely required. Having tech experience alone will no longer be sufficient enough, and recruiters will be looking for proven skills in efficiently finding ways to take IT tools and make them work within a corporation to improve the bigger picture.

“The bottom line is that your capability in a company isn’t judged by how many servers you manage,” Mike Capone, a seasoned IT professional, told CIO. “Your credibility comes from your ability to leverage IT for the business.”

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