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Results tagged “CIO” from The Centurylink Technology Solutions Blog

The CIO / CMO Relationship

In the sixth part of our seven part series titled 7 Secrets to Becoming a Digital Disruptor, we will talk about the critical CIO / CMO relationship. Part five covers the importance of the technology provider and you can view it here.

While disruption most often originates as a result of new technology becoming available it is marketers who are most often the ones championing the use and implementation of these new techniques while technologists are seen as more conservative gatekeepers. However, balancing forward-looking, customer-centric innovation with the latest and greatest tools and the need to keep IT systems robust, secure and cost effective requires strong cooperation between the CIO and CMO.


GlobalIcon_Larger.jpgWhat would you do if you had carte blanche to redefine your IT strategy?


We asked IT leaders just that during a recent event in London. And their feedback was pretty insightful. You may have even seen us relaying some of it on our EMEA Twitter account


This event challenged senior IT leaders from across a range of sectors to think about how they would completely disrupt their IT delivery if given the luxury of a blank sheet of paper.

What's on the horizon for CIOs?

Cloud IconAs we head into 2012, I find myself asking what's on the horizon for CIOs? The economic turbulence of the last 24 months has led to a period of careful planning and ensuring business stability.


According to the IT leaders I've spoken to recently, that focus on balancing the business to deliver potential growth, whilst maintaining flexibility, hasn't changed. However, they are telling me it's still important to find more cost-effective solutions that help drive down IT costs.


Our recent global survey of CIOs, IT directors and heads of IT, reflects this sentiment. Budgets are less restrictive than 18 months ago, but this is still a critical time for managing IT costs and efficiency. Important lessons have been learned in recent years about how to maximise budgets and IT performance.


These lessons have had a profound impact on attitudes toward IT outsourcing. Organisations across the globe continue to embrace technology as a means of delivering first-class IT support. Right now, European IT leaders tend to take a more cautious view of outsourcing compared to their North American counterparts.


However, despite this, our research indicates a positive attitude toward outsourcing IT is set to spread globally. Within the next five years, organisations in the UK are expecting to outsource their IT infrastructure more than their colleagues in Europe and the U.S. The vast majority of IT decision-makers forecast that within 10 years, their IT infrastructure will not be managed in-house.


IT leaders realise that cloud computing technology has a significant role to play either now or in the future within enterprise organisations. Eight out of 10 of the enterprises surveyed currently use cloud computing in their organisation and two-thirds of those users have adopted it during the last 12 months.


CIOs tell me they are rapidly adopting cloud services because it offers them access to scalable computing on demand, improved reliability, reduced total cost of ownership and economies of scale.


Take a look at the full report at


Neil Cresswell is managing director, EMEA, at Savvis. 

Cloud IconThe emerging cloud-centered IT landscape has many CIOs wondering what their roles will look like in the near future. The confluence of major forces for change - including cloud migration, outsourcing, ubiquitous computing and IT-enabled corporate strategy - has led to this reflection and created uncertainty about the next step in the evolving IT leader role.


CIOs are resilient and evolutionary forces in technology are nothing new. In fact, the role of the CIO has been in continual formation, evolving from "information systems manager" in the late 1970s and changing in each era of computing - Mainframe, Distributed Computing, Web and now Post-PC. At each step, an IT leader assumed new responsibilities and titles. However, despite the changes spanning these eras, my sense is that, for the most part, the CIO role was fairly consistent across companies and industries: Whatever IT a company had, the CIO or VP of IT ran it.


Based on numerous encounters and conversations I have been involved in over the past couple years, it's clear that there are huge variations in the current responsibilities assigned to CIOs. IT leaders are operating at varying levels of the organization, with differing, frequently changing missions, and I'm seeing increasingly divergent definitions for the role across companies. These are ominous conditions that I think could impact the CIO in existential ways. Yes, I think the entire role of CIO could become a casualty due to a general lack of consensus as to what the title actually means.


And while that viewpoint may seem extreme, think about it: At many large companies, non-IT executives are being empowered to make their own IT decisions and many business units are selecting their own IT solutions, merging the front and back offices in an IT-enabled business strategy. As executives get more comfortable with IT ownership, as consumerization of corporate IT gets more prevalent, and as business IT gets less and less asset-centric, IT decision making will continue to decentralize. This distribution of IT functions across the executive ranks is impacting the role and even the lifespan of the CIO now.


But fear not! The CIO role can endure and the road to extinction can be avoided. CIOs need to recognize that radical changes are beginning to permeate their industries and their companies. The ways people communicate, learn, work, play, organize, govern and conduct commerce are being impacted by ubiquitous computing. These changes are serving as a catalyst for exploring new opportunities and creating an opening for forward-looking IT visionaries. Call it the silver lining, if you will. CIOs cannot ignore the real opportunity they have to spearhead the introduction of entirely new business models and applications based on ubiquitous computing while radically changing the cost structures underneath their legacy systems.


I encourage CIOs to not only understand how ubiquitous computing will change their industry, but to be vocal about how to move the business to respond to new opportunities. CIOs have huge credibility within their businesses in matters of technology and often see opportunities that others miss. Those who can give voice to these ideas will thrive regardless of their title.


Finally, I wanted to note that I shared additional thoughts on the CIO role with Data Center Knowledge earlier this month. To read that content, click here.


Bryan Doerr is chief technology officer at Savvis, a CenturyLink company.