"At the end of the day, a CIO's #1 job is to be a business person, with specialty in technology"\n\tThe above quote was representative of the theme at MIT CIO Symposium held last week in Cambridge MA.\u00a0 In the last few years the role of IT in enterprises has been evolving.\u00a0 It has come from a number of different changes:\u00a0 technological, organizational, and behavioral (GenY, etc).\u00a0 Many roles within IT as they exist today have become marginalized, or worse, irrelevant.\u00a0 The role of C-level executives in general has evolved as well, to include many different characteristics.\u00a0 The role of CIO, in particular, continues to evolve, as information and data becomes an even more core component of enterprises today.\u00a0\n\tWe have seen the business\/IT alignment happening for quite some time now.\u00a0 However, challenges persist, as business needs are not being understood from a business perspective, by IT.\u00a0 In the past, there have been silos amongst business units and IT.\u00a0\n\tHowever, this is the era of information, and mass amounts of information are being thrown at enterprises today.\u00a0 In addition to this, IT resources have become easier to acquire, and many business units are circumventing IT.\u00a0 It\u2019s critical for a CIO to bring together a team that can bring both an understanding of technology and the business acumen, in order to help the organization make the right decisions with respect to new technologies, partnerships, and\/or business models.\u00a0 A CIO must be able to not only impart technical expertise on his team, but also demonstrate how to apply that expertise to the business and have the team understand how technology can ultimately add to a bottom line.\u00a0 IT should essentially become part of an enterprise\u2019s competitive advantage and demonstrate its value.\n\tParallel to this, the relationship between CIO and COO has traditionally been tense.\u00a0 However, moving forward, the two roles must be able to work together and openly communicate what each is doing, as what each is responsible for impacts the others\u2019 decisions and responsibilities. Additionally, it would benefit to include other business unit leaders such as a CMO and\/or CFO in some of the decision making processes that CIO and COO own.\n\tAll business units within an enterprise must have open lines of communication, and ensure that the right message is being communicated.\u00a0 A CIO\u2019s team should communicate the overall technology strategy to the business and communicate how this aligns with the business requirements.\u00a0 I would venture to say that in some organizations, cross pollination is possible, and would benefit each C-level executive from learning the basics of his\/her peers\u2019 roles.\u00a0 The intention is to have each role understand the other\u2019s responsibilities and decisions from a different, albeit important perspective.\n\tTechnologies, business and operational models are transforming the way internal organizations are run, and there is no longer a place for silos. The on-demand and fluid IT environments today require an internal organization that can also be fluid, as in understanding all aspects of the business to some degree.\u00a0 Silos must be broken down and lines of communication must be opened up.\u00a0\n\tThis mandate must come from the CEO in a unified message that is fully supported by his direct reports so that the message can uniformly flow throughout the organization. Showing a united front will ensure that the rest of the organization understands this change in organizational behavior, and will understand how it relates to the success of the business.\u00a0\n\tVanessa Alvarez is an Industry Analyst with Frost & Sullivan focusing on monitoring and analyzing emerging trends, technologies and market dynamics in the area of enterprise infrastructure in North America. Follow her on Twitter @VanessaAlvarez1.