Gone are those days when CIOs spent more time in the boiling server room managing the most sophisticated IT machines of the corporate world. They are now seen spending more time in board room of their companies and looking at ways to contribute to the business growth. The business world is witnessing a paradigm shift in the roles and responsibilities entrusted to the CIOs. Their responsibilities are undergoing a change or are getting modified according to the business needs.
As technology is gaining more importance in taking the business decisions, CIOs are often made to report directly to CEOs and CFOs. Today’s CIOs are able to lead the conversation with the top officials of the company on the strategies that they should adopt to achieve a good growth in their respective market.
According to a report by CEB’s 2011 IT Budget Benchmark, CIOs of fortune 1000 firms are given additional responsibilities, most commonly in the areas of real estate, procurement, business process and analytics. By 2015, they expect some radical changes in the field of IT which will affect its value, ownership and position in the business. The transition from transaction process to analytics, greater adoption of cloud services, and greater ownership of technology by the business are some of the changes predicted in the report. It is foreseen that IT activities of a firm will be treated as separate business unit and will be then integrated with other corporate functions such as HR, Marketing and finance or it could be outsourced in the near future.
Hence, it is predicted that, by 2015, the role of CIO though will have limited role in managing technology but they will be provided opportunities to take up top management role in a business unit, or to move to a senior position in the organization of an external vendor, or become a head of a global business services organization. Global business services organization (GBS) helps the firms to bring together their shared services (finance, HR etc) into one organization, which will help them to achieve more cost efficiency by standardizing, consolidating and restructuring their transaction process.
What are the factors that make CIOs capable to lead GBS?
- The CIOs, when compared to other professionals, have more insight about the business process and how they are integrated across all departments.
- The CIOs posses the ability to think about the discipline of designing services, building service delivery model and creating a sense of service ownership.
- They bring in significant talent management skill with them.
- They have experience in managing a dispersed team of members and vendors to deliver quality service to their clients.
Considering the experiences and the skills the 21st century CIOs will possess in the future, CEOs will have an option to choose them without any doubt as the leaders of GBS.