The next digital disruption: The CIO role

Digital disruption is more than just an organizational existential threat. Here are five key disruptors that are reshaping the CIO role — and the skills IT leaders will need to adapt.

The next digital disruption: The CIO role
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When analysts began forecasting the challenges that CIOs would face in 2020, uncertainty became a common theme.  But few would have imagined that a novel coronavirus originating in China would turn U.S. office buildings and campuses into ghost towns and force CIOs to fortify systems for remote work by the majority of employees, as well as to craft broader contingency plans for the unforeseen future.

While COVID-19 responses occupy the majority of CIOs’ time at the moment, a range of long-term global, economic and organizational issues are disrupting the role of the CIO and pushing them to expand their knowledge and capabilities.

“The CIO job is really getting hard,” says Irving Tyler, analyst and vice president at Gartner. In addition to their core duties, today’s CIOs are expected to understand digital design, apply product management disciplines to managing IT, help change the culture of their enterprise and think about the consequences of privacy laws everywhere in the world. “All of those things are big, complicated, complex issues that CIOs never had to think about,” Tyler says.

CIOs and industry analysts weigh in on the new disruptors that are reshaping the CIO role, and the skills they’ll need to adapt.

The pace of market change

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