Raconteur

The Future CIO

Issue link: https://raconteur.uberflip.com/i/683745

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 2 of 15

A couple of things happened in the year 2000 that made many chief execu- tives realise they needed somebody on the board who under- stood information technology. Firstly they survived the "Millen- nium bug", which had threatened to destroy any computers whose date ranges were still set exclusively in the 20th century. It had triggered an enormous expenditure on IT upgrades. Secondly, an enormous overpricing of technology stocks – the dot.com bubble – had burst. Knowing whether or not tech would do something was very important and that stock rose as technology became evermore vital. According to the BT CIO report 2016 – the digital CIO, 72 per cent of respondents thought the chief infor - mation officer or CIO's standing in the boardroom had improved over the last two years, up from 59 per cent in 2014. Providing a bridge be - tween the demands of the business and support capacity of technology has been an increasingly important role since the turn of the millennium. Back then businesses were be - holden to the large technology firms that licensed mainframes, databases and software applica- tions to them. They had to own the datacentres they used. Measuring the return on IT investment was difficult. The position of CIO helped to manage and explain technology to the rest of the business. Firms largely began to recruit CIOs from the ranks of IT directors. Tak - ing control of the technology that firms used and built required an understanding not only of the tech- nology, but of the business itself. However, as technology evolved the role evolved. "Over the last ten years the role has changed in a number of ways, but the greatest dynamic has been the sheer pace at which technolo - gy has changed," says Claire-Louise McSherry, man- aging director of specialist execu- tive search firm McSherry Brown. "If you look at the impact of cloud technology, at b r i n g - y o u r - o w n - device, at software- as-a-service, the effect on organisa - tions has been con- siderable." The responsibility of CIOs has increased with their pro- file. After Target, the US retailing gi- ant, had 70 million customer records hacked in 2013, it was Beth Jacob, its CIO, who was first in the firing line and resigned, followed two months later by the firm's chief executive and chairman Gregg Steinhafel. Holding senior executives to account for the loss of information creates a clear line of responsibility for a firm's tech - nology and the technology-associat- ed element of business. Where IT was once expensive and desk based, it is increasingly mobile and relatively cheap. The barriers to access have fallen and comput- ing power can be hired on-demand. Now consumers and workers are setting the pace of change for busi- nesses. The ability to control IT risk is consequently less about owner- ship of technology, and more about instilling trust and a culture that optimises technology provision, use and security within a firm. "Consuming technology as a ser - vice has altered the way we have to think about it, from the point where we would have been asking who we needed to design and build technol - ogy," says Michael Cooper, chief tech- nology officer at financial commu- nication network BT Radianz. Virtualising com- puter processing – the ability to access a third-party datacentre's process- ing power – means that businesses can scale their operations up and down using the cloud without incur- ring any fixed costs. The way technology is developed has also changed with the histori- cal model of taking a specification and returning a completed plat- form in 12 to 18 months replaced by an agile methodology, which sees a system tested against require- ments during the development pro- cess to ensure it is functional in the way requested. As consumer access to well-de- signed, powerful technology has in- creased, it has pushed firms to meet the demand for real-time, always-on services. Many industries have de- veloped with technology built in the 1970s or earlier, often processing in- formation in batches and therefore able to update only once or twice a day. The digitisation of business, moving it to a mobile, 24/7, real-time model designed to serve customer needs, therefore clashes with the leg - acy technology businesses rely upon. Yet firms are becoming reliant upon their capacity to manage data in order to guide the business. The impact of a CIO, who understands how technology can create growth, is considerable. As business be - comes increasingly digital, every action and interaction can be re- corded, quantified and analysed. Protecting that data is crucial, but as firms such as Amazon and Google have demonstrated, customers and employees can really benefit from it when it is used well. "The CIOs we have been looking at over the last 18 months have a great - er focus on cyber and security as a key mandate," adds Ms McSherry. Increasingly the CIO is supported by, or merged with, the roles of chief technology, chief digital and chief in - formation security officers, reflecting the changing dynamics of the posi- tion. The CIO's importance is expand- ing in line with the importance and ubiquity of technology in our lives. DISTRIBUTED IN DAN BARNES Award-winning business journalist, he specialises in financial technology, trading and capital markets. DANNY BRADBURY Freelance technology writer, he contributes to the Financial Times and The Guardian on topics ranging from computer networks to cultural issues. LEO KING Writer and editor, he works with the Financial Times, The Sunday Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Economist and The Daily Telegraph. CHARLES ORTON-JONES Award-winning journalist, he was editor-at-large of LondonlovesBusiness.com and editor of EuroBusiness. RAYMOND SNODDY Writer and broadcaster, he was media editor at The Times and Financial Times, and presented BBC TV's Newswatch. DAVEY WINDER Award-winning journalist and author, he specialises in information security, contributing to Infosecurity magazine. EMMA WOOLLACOTT Specialist technology writer, she covers legal and regulatory issues, contributing to Forbes and the New Statesman. RACONTEUR PUBLISHING MANAGER Richard Hadler DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER Sarah Allidina HEAD OF PRODUCTION Natalia Rosek DESIGN Samuele Motta Grant Chapman Kellie Jerrard PRODUCTION EDITOR Benjamin Chiou MANAGING EDITOR Peter Archer BUSINESS CULTURE FINANCE HE ALTHCARE LIFEST YLE SUSTAINABILIT Y TECHNOLOGY INFOGRAPHICS raconteur.net/the-future-cio CONTRIBUTORS Although this publication is funded through advertising and sponsorship, all editorial is without bias and sponsored features are clearly labelled. For an upcoming schedule, partnership in- quiries or feedback, please call +44 (0)20 8616 7400 or e-mail info@raconteur.net Raconteur is a leading publisher of special-interest content and research. Its publications and articles cover a wide range of topics, including business, finance, sustainability, health- care, lifestyle and technology. Raconteur special reports are published exclusively in The Times and The Sunday Times as well as online at raconteur.net The information contained in this publication has been ob- tained from sources the Proprietors believe to be correct. However, no legal liability can be accepted for any errors. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher. © Raconteur Media Digital technology promotes CIOs Chief information officers are growing in stature and importance as digital technology increasingly drives UK business OVERVIEW DAN BARNES Share this article online via Raconteur.net Getty images THE FUTURE CIO 72% of CIOs believe their standing in the boardroom has improved over the last two years Source: BT 2016 RACONTEUR raconteur.net 03 THE FUTURE CIO 26 / 05 / 2016

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Raconteur - The Future CIO