2003 will be a banner year for CIOs. In a majority of large companies, CEOs, COOs and CFOs have embraced the CIO as a fellow commander, ideally positioned to get a total view of the enterprise, streamline operations and take control of both dispersed data assets and the unchallenged tech spending habits of the turn of the millennium. And as the economic slump lingers, they’re depending on the CIO to help drive strategy and find new revenue opportunities in the information-rich frontier of this new environment.
Converging with that is a new wave of technology innovation. Just as there is growing pent-up demand on the part of organizations, there’s growing pent-up capability among providers. In 2003, some of this will start seeping into the marketplace.
But there are pitfalls for CIOs in 2003. It could be a make-or-break year for those who do not rise to the challenge?or those who are not afforded the opportunity by their companies’ executive staff and board in the first place.
And all CIOs will face a rising tide of frustration and impatience among line of business and function execs who are eager to improve their own performance and who see technology as a way to do that. If CIOs don’t find a way to start addressing these needs soon, they will be seen as an obstructionist. Providers offering products and services that go around the CIO will find an audience for their message. And once the money starts flowing again, a chunk of it will flow right past the island of the CIO.
To avoid becoming a victim of the IT end run (again) and the subsequent nightmare of having to repatriate all those renegade outposts of information and technology, CIOs must make collaborating with their business colleagues a top priority in the year ahead.
From all of us at CIO to all of you: Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.