Christmas is fast approaching so we should do the annual review of what is the role of the CIO going forward.
Historically some wags have promoted that CIO equals Career Is Over, I don't accept that, world domination is still high on the agenda. I do believe that the role is changing, although I am not totally sure to what. When I look at many organisations the shape and design of the CIO role and his/her team vary enormously. It ranges from the very business orientated, main board change agent, to the traditional IT Director focussing on IT Services. It ranges from fully in-sourced, to predominately outsourced. So coming up with one design is inappropriate, so I won't do that.
However the "CIO" role is changing as enterprise IT continues to be consumerised. Not only that I think there is a move towards the CIO title being taken over by a very important person indeed – your Customer, or in my case the Citizen. Yes the Customer (or Citizen) Information Owner. This is not the marketing department who believe they own all the customer information, nor is it the salesman who historically attempted to keep all his data on his clients so only he/she could sell to them. This is the Customer/Citizen owning their own information and determining what they do with it.
William Heath has blogged extensively and passionately on this subject. I am still working through the consequences; I think I understand the theory but I have more work to do to understand the consequences across all business operations and what this means in reality. Would citizens get credit from their financial institution if they didn't tick the box that asks permission to share their data with credit agencies and organisations who want to offer you a deal of a lifetime?
So if the customer/citizen becomes the CIO what does the CIO become... time for a new TLA; How about CCO, the Chief Collaboration Officer? In our world of ever decreasing time to launch our products and services and our increasing reliance on global supply chains and a multi supplier (IT and business service) world, increasingly our roles demand substantial collaboration to get the job done.
We have always had to collaborate internally, and indeed quite a bit externally, but it is going to grow. So for now I will vote for CCO. It would be much more fun if we had the choice of four letters, and no I do not want any suggestions this is family blog.
Have a very merry Christmas and I hope 2010 is a great year for you.