It’s time for CIOs to get smart

Being smart isn't about what you know, but about how you process and apply new information. Welcome to the context-aware era.

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We are now two decades into the new century and how have CIOs fared? Do they feature prominently in the C-suite? Do they join their CEOs during updates at board meetings? Are they the business leaders IT research firms have long urged them to be?  The results are a mixed bag.

On the one hand, the status of CIOs in the rarefied air of the executive business tower has not improved. Indeed, some might say it has weakened despite all that digital transformation impetus. Interestingly, the threat from the chief marketing officer (CMO) and a host of other, newer C-level titles never really materialized, but the CIO is still considered a second-tier corporate officer (along with the CMO and others). The CEO-COO-CFO trio still holds sway.

How is that possible in the information age? Maybe because the onus for sophisticated bleeding edge endeavors, such as running 5G networks and quantum computers is put on CTOs. Or maybe because CIOs are bogged down by security and reliability risk, making high-order objectives nearly untenable.

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