Trends: The CIO’s Business Card – Chief Productivity Officer

Dave Wright

The Chief Productivity Officer

After years of enterprises hesitating to migrate their applications and data stores to the cloud, it’s safe to say the debate is over and the cloud is here to stay. IDC even goes as far as to predict that by 2020, we will stop referring to clouds as “public” and “private,” and ultimately stop using the word “cloud” altogether. We will simply refer to it as “computing,” because we will think of the cloud as the standard way of doing business and providing IT support. Cloud computing is not just transforming how we get work done, it’s transforming the role of the CIO. In fact, that CIOs may want to begin 2016 by updating their LinkedIn profiles to include a new business title that reflects their primary responsibility: “Chief Productivity Officer.

CEO

For more than 30 years, the CIO has been the keeper of IT systems, but those responsibilities are starting to diminish as enterprises migrate to the cloud. The CIO is evolving into the person who oversees the delivery of services company-wide. There is this awakening to thinking about service management as a discipline, and includes other service-oriented business units such as HR, finance and legal. Typically, the IT department assists all these other departments roll out new services, and that makes the CIO the best candidate for overseeing all services enterprise-wide.

This represents a significant change to how the CIO, and the entire IT department for that matter, will operate, and it’s a positive change. IT will be more visible across the business because it will no longer spend the bulk of its time in the data center. Instead, they can help sales, marketing, HR, legal, finance, customer service and other departments be more efficient and effective. IT can have a broad impact on its organization’s ability to meet its business goals.

Analysing The Data

One of the main factors driving enterprises to migrate to the cloud is the need to collect, manage and analyze ever-growing volumes of information. The Internet of Things trend is producing an ever-growing array of machines and devices that connect to cloud-based applications in order to run entire factory floors to helping oil and gas companies track oil flow through pipelines, to automating a home’s heating and A/C.

Cloud computing is driving the adoption of these IoT devices, and there are no signs of slowing. Cisco Systems reports that in 2008 there were already more things connected to the Internet than people. By 2020, the amount of Internet-connected things will reach 50 billion, and the amount of information companies collect will grow just as quickly.

Big And Small Data

Companies have already been collecting Big Data for years, and while that remains a top priority, so too is the collection and analysis of Small Data, a dataset that contains very specific attributes.

Capturing it through the use of performance analytics will help predict what enterprises should be looking at, not just looking backward at what could have been optimized. The key is to capture the work in a record-keeping system to see what’s going on, and determine what needs to be done. Transparency empowers managers to do their jobs. IT can provide the technologies and services to make this happen – not just in IT, but other service-oriented departments such as HR, finance and legal.

For example, IT can lead the creation and rollout of an online portal for employees to do everything from submit IT help desk requests, request a contract review from legal, to select healthcare benefits. This is why the CIO is the logical person to assume the role of CPO.

The maturation of cloud computing services and applications, be they public, private or a hybrid model, is enabling IT teams to spend less time on maintaining on premise systems and applications, and more time leading more strategic services-oriented initiatives that benefit users across the entire enterprise. These services have become so critical to how business gets done that it will forever change the role and responsibilities of the CIO, so a change in title to Chief Productivity Officer is more than just a ceremonial gesture. It signals that the CIO must oversee the selection and delivery of these services from multiple departments.

By David Wright

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