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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

CIO's As Dinsoaurs : Preposterous

Infoworld raises the question about future role of CIO'S inside enterprises.The article notes that the center of gravity in decision-making for strategic IT solutions is shifting away from the CIO. As companies move back toward more centralized control, it is more often the case that the CIO reports to the CFO. Or, in cases where the CIO reports to the COO or CEO, the CFO will put his or her own people into the IT organization. In the age of compliance, there's a heightened interest in data management, data cleansing, and data warehousing. "Data governance" appears to be the catchphrase of the day to describe this new emphasis. Sarbanes-Oxley is changing how companies aggregate data. In the past, everyone sent their spreadsheets to the CFO, who put them all together. The CFO relied on regional controllers to get the data out of IT systems. Now, however, CFOs want to dictate or mandate the business definitions and unify them across the country and globe. In the future IT landscape, the CTO will report directly to the CFO, rather than the CIO. So is the CIO a dinosaur? SOX has brought in a culture of having information on a timely basis, with an audit trail and everything must be traceable to the source. In this context, while IT is responsible for satisfying the needs for compliance, the CFO is the gatekeeper. The CFO material is amongst the most wanted in the corporate world.
IT is not a mere back-office function to be seen as a nondifferentiating commodity. Leading edge enterprises see IT as a catalyst for positive strategic change.
My Take :Presposterous to say the least.IT now plays a leading role in changing the way the company deals with customers and partners as well as how to make things work internally to develop, sell, and service offerings. Complexity has grown exponentially—more technology, more applications, and more users—while the business cycle has shortened. The world is becoming increasingly connected, while most enterprises now operate around the clock. I think that corporates have been too focused on SOX and compliance matters – it has created pressures from multiple sides – Huge ERP centric investments made in the last decade, a limitless spend (some said that no one knows how to budget for IT to make systems compliant), increasing proportion of IT spend in corporate spends have also pushed CFO’s to take an increased role in IT spend decisions. We are now seeing enterprises are shifting dollars from maintenance and support to new app development,from legacy systems to Web apps, from internal IT to outsourced and offshore vendors, from IT dialtone to innovation. All these call for larger roles for CIOs. As they say, it is not just investments but innovative application of technology that would fetch far better returns on IT investment . Steve Ballmer is credited with the saying that - Successful innovation is a lot like hitting in baseball: No one hits it out of the park every time. Many different factors—both internal and external—affect your success at the game. You can strike out by getting to the game too early and by getting to it too late, but the only way to hit a home run is to keep swinging at balls." The emerging IT world itself can be a seen as an hotbed of innovation. Initiatives and achievements like the one at Sprint can come only from a CIO taking charge.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"