The CIO’s role has changed dramatically in the last five years. Once in a position of centralized command and control, the CIO is now integrating his team more deeply into business units to develop differentiated products and services faster and more cheaply. Once the sole executive in charge of IT, the CIO now works alongside a Chief Data Officer and a Chief Innovation Officer. Roles and mandates are unclear, and constantly shifting.
The CIO was once the builder and implementer of time-tested IT systems from proven vendors; today, the CIO needs to be a champion of innovation and experimentation.
The CIO was once the builder and implementer of time-tested IT systems from proven vendors; today, the CIO needs to be a champion of innovation and experimentation. Once comfortable with quarterly or annual releases, the CIO must now demand daily releases. Equally vexing to a traditional CIO, business units are driving the application of technology and algorithms. The IT silo has been cracked open. Today’s IT is more democratized and distributed, more flexible and agile, often virtual, not static.
If the CIO resists these tectonic shifts, and attempts to remain master of a siloed IT function, his or her relevance in the organization will be dramatically reduced. Others, such as the Chief Digital Officer or external providers, will take over. The CIO, with backing from the CEO, must emerge from the IT silo to re-establish relevance in the business domain.
Defining an Open API strategy
The “API economy” is real and growing exponentially. Innovative firms such as eBay, Salesforce, and Expedia are using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to deliver a substantial portion of their revenues. To develop a broad API platform, define an “open API” business and commercial model, including appetite for data openness, monetization strategy, and roadmap.