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CIOs question the role of IT in their organisations

Bosses also considering their own roles as technology changes

CIOs are probing the role of IT in their businesses as a result of the changing shape of technology.

According to Gartner, the changes are also making them consider their own positions within companies as businesses face global economic uncertainty, changing market dynamics and “cultural discontinuities” created by technology.

John Mahoney, vice president and analyst at Gartner said that there was a new generation of CIOs, changing their roles from running IT to ensuring that the business gets the most strategic value from the use of technology.

As a result Gartner has identified four dominant futures for IT in the organisation.

Firstly it said some companies may consider  IT as a Global Service Provider. This would mean that the IT organisation was an expanded and integrated shared-service unit that runs like a business, delivering IT services and enterprise business processes. It would be virtually or fully centralised, focusing on business areas and business value, and adopting a marketing perspective.

Another option,  IT as the “Engine Room”, would mean that IT would be delivered rapidly at market-competitive prices.

The IT organisation would succeed by monitoring technology and market developments, and building expertise in IT asset optimisation, sourcing and vendor management, and IT financial management.

Making IT the business was also another option, and here the company would be structured around the flow of information. Gartner said that the IT organisation would innovate within the value chain, rather than just enabling the supporting services found in every business.

Gartner said that these new CIOs would play an important role in identifying the required future of the IT organisation, and as a result they had to ensure senior IT stakeholders were involved from the outset, so that their support was guaranteed.

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