I've blogged a fair amount recently on the rapidly evolving role of the CIO - and it's a rare day that I don't see signs that that evolution is becoming, if anything, more rapid.
In just the last couple of days, I've found a couple of interesting stories. The first, "Forrester: CIOs need to support the workplace of the future now," discusses the increasingly important trend towards a virtual workplace. Despite setbacks - the decision against virtual work from Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer comes immediately to mind - the move to an ever more virtual office is, I think, inevitable.
Beyond meeting the needs of an increasingly mobile workforce, the reduction in overhead - asJennifer Belissent discusses - will be a critical driver. "Once you don't have the space, you can get rid of the lease – and the energy and maintenance costs. New accounting regulations and political pressures increase incentives to reduce real estate footprints – and company executives are paying attention."
Of course, this transformation impacts every C-level leader. But it's the CIO / CTO who needs to make it happen - needs to create the strategies, and lead the build out of the in-house, cloud, and BYOD infrastructure that makes the virtual workplace a functioning reality.The strategic and tactical aspects of that sort of challenge are the things that get great CIOs excited. But there's no question that these are a completely different kind of challenge than those faced by CIOs even a couple of years ago.
Of course, these changes can lead to other headlines. The, in my opinion, rather extreme headline of this article, "CIOs facing extinction under relentless march of Amazon cloud," would lead the reader to believe that, within a few year's time, the CIO will go the way of the Triceratops.
Maxwell Cooter asks, rhetorically, "Is their future really going to be checking off boxes and negotiating new terms as Amazon takes over more of the IT workload?" He ultimately agrees that that won't be the case - that there will always be a need for internal IT. But the fact that he's asking the question shows a different view of the role than CIOs currently have.