In 1981 the role of Chief Information Officer (CIO) first breaks onto the scene. Today, thirty five years since genesis, the responsibilities of the CIO have radically changed. The original CIO served as senior executive in an enterprise and was responsible for the information technology and computer systems that supported enterprise goals. However, as today’s business needs rapidly change, so too does the role of a modern CIO.

Today, CIOs must adapt or they will get left behind with legacy systems.

The modern CIO is expected to take on multiple responsibilities, including:

  • Management of platforms and systems such as data governance, mobility, cloud infrastructure
  • Investing in security, improved database speed and access, big data analytics, integration
  • Identifying trends, threats, and partners that align with business goals
  • Making sure a company’s data is clean, accessible, easy to understand, and secure
  • Hiring and developing talent

CIOs now face many challenges, since IT plays an even more important role in core business strategy than it has in previous years. Management of systems with methods like data analysis and cloud infrastructure allow CIOs to operate with an agile development mentality and be more fluid when it comes to identifying and implementing new business operations as a result.

While much of the responsibility of a CIO has shifted away from managing server farms in a closet to managing a cloud, hardware is just as important today with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT). CIOs can now utilize IoT to gather valuable data across an entire logistics operation. For example, sensors can be placed on shipping containers and vehicles to analyze trip data, which can lead to designing more efficient shipping routes, resulting in higher cost savings.

Instead of being a back-office executive, CIOs must use their influence over new technologies to identify cost-saving opportunities or create additional revenue streams. CIOs, with their knowledge of modern technological trends, become responsible for maintaining their company’s competitive edge.

The responsibilities of modern CIOs working in the forefront of technology and information systems are changing rapidly, and those who do not adapt will quickly fall behind. To learn more about the changing landscape of IT and to network with over 100 IT executives, join us at the HMG 2016 CIO Executive Leadership Summit in Denver, CO on September 1, 2016. The speakers for this event include CIOs pushing the boundaries of what’s possible: Rob Dravenstott from DISH Network, Stephen Gold from CVS Health, and Renee Arrington from Pearson Partners International, Inc. At the Summit, the MemSQL team is available to talk about analyzing real-time data to optimize business processes and create new revenue streams. See you there!