An important question that the CIO task force studying the evolving role of the CIO discussed was how to ensure that CIOs don’t get left behind in the datacenter while their peers moved on. “There is no one magic formula,” said Arun Gupta, CIO, Cipla. “The answer varies depending on the standing of the CIO in the company and the organization’s culture.” That said, the task force agreed that there were certain steps that were becoming increasingly imperative for CIOs to take. They agreed that CIOs should take on additional non-IT responsibilities. They agreed that CIOs who continue to speak the language of technology will languish in server rooms and be replaced. Instead, they said, CIOs have to improve their understanding of the business, and not just support it. As the discussion grew more interactive, the panel concluded that the road ahead for the CIO is full of opportunities. “Having an IT background or being a CIO should not stifle your professional ambition. Once you understand the business you can easily transition to any business role, be it a CMO or even the CEO,” says Sunil Mehta, SVP & Area Systems Director-Central Asia, JWT who once donned the CEO cap.