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The changing role of the CIO

18 May 2015

While business leaders and IT executives still want the IT function to exhibit utility-like characteristics including availability, reliability, performance and low cost, there are new ways in which an IT function should perform, according to Fluke.

This is driving fundamental change in the way IT organisations need to function and the expectations on the CIO.

Kenny Soutar, Fluke Networks ANZ country manager, says primarily, the IT function should be closely aligned with the business and it should be agile. 

"Today, the CIO is still expected to guide the operations and evolution of the IT function.

“That means keeping operations running and not having any major incidents relative to the deployment of new applications or any major security intrusions.

“The CIO is also the person ultimately responsible for ensuring that the company has the right strategy relative to the choice of vendors and the appropriate adoption of trends such as cloud computing and virtualisation.

“This creates a complicated mix of both tactical and strategic responsibilities for contemporary leaders,” Soutar says. 

There is nothing new about the fact that the IT function is changing changing, says Fluke. However, the changes currently occurring are broader than those associated with tasks such as implementing VoIP or higher speed ethernet links.

There is also nothing fundamentally new about CIOs being under pressure to show business value, but the days as sole broker of technology are now over, Fluke says.

Soutar says, “One difference is that the pace of business is increasing and it is becoming less acceptable for IT not to meet the business needs, particularly when there are public cloud service providers that can.

“Another difference is if the CIO can’t meet the emerging business requirements, other C-level executives, such as CMOs and CDOs, are poised to step in and take control.”

He says, “When it comes to technology shifting we are not talking about some potential change predicted for the future. These shifts have already begun.

“Companies are currently using cloud services and the use of those cloud services is expected to increase.

“IT organisations have already made significant use of virtualised servers as well as virtualised appliances such as WAN optimisation controllers (WOCs) and application delivery controllers (ADCs).”

“The use of these forms of virtualisation is expected to increase and driven by the small, but emerging adoption of SDN, the use of network virtualisation is expected to increase significantly,” Soutar says. 

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