Everything in this world, it seems, is becoming connected, from household appliances that “speak” to one another to drones that deliver groceries. These are part of the emerging world of disruptive technologies. Since businesses’ survival is more dependent on technology than ever before, today’s CIOs must act as technology leaders in addition to critical business partners who understand the nature and direction of their businesses.
A problem that continues to nag many CIOs, however, is that they are seen as technologists. This is exacerbated with the decrease of useful lifecycles of technology and increased awareness and empowerment of businesses to directly procure IT-enabled business solutions. This leads to investments in capital equipment that holds little value to organizations, causing some to question the CIO’s business acumen.
In response, many CIOs are transitioning to a new, agile environment where speed is critical. To deliver, they need to integrate at the rate and pace of business (based on the risk appetite, of course). This is not always easy, as too many IT organizations still do not classify their information properly, often implementing a single security approach rather than an information approach, which spurs business frustration as there are too many controls guarding the critical information.
The CIOs that make this transition will be best equipped to deal with upcoming trends such as the Internet of Things and Big Data. Information related to these developments, when correctly leveraged, will provide a critical competitive advantage, but many CIOs are still coming to grips with the resources required to drive value.
As such, the role of data scientists is emerging. This role will require sound business knowledge paired with the skills to read these new types of information and make speedy decisions about them.
Robert E. Stroud, CGEIT, CRISC
Vice president of strategy and innovation at CA Technologies
Chair of ISACA’s ISO Liaison Subcommittee