Report Shows How the Cloud Has Changed the Role of the CIO

Responsibilities may be different but CIO still holds a critical place within an organization.

A recently released report from Oracle discussed how the cloud is changing the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The author of the report asserts that the emergence of the cloud has fundamentally altered the job of the CIO while shifting organizational structures and changing the indicators of success.

The CIO used to be the purchaser of hardware and software and the overseer of the safe and reliable operation of the company’s data servers. But with the growing speeds and storage capacity of cloud-based solutions, many companies are finding that data servers cannot compete on a cost and service quality basis. Companies are now spending less on maintenance and more on staying up-to-date with the latest technology. No longer is the focus on maintaining the status quo: the challenge now is how to deliver innovation in very short periods of time.

Cloud computing allows companies of any size to use ‘Big Data’ services, which have the potential to improve overall business efficiency. Several cloud-based services are available for the safe storage of data on customer behavior, market trends, and competitors. Insights gleaned from Big Data can help companies gain a competitive advantage. For example, many companies are already using Big Data to improve customer relationship management (CRM), build new business partnerships, access new markets, and improve operating margins.

Now that so many business services are available in the cloud, it would seem that the role of the CIO has been reduced in importance. But according to the article, the opposite is true: cloud-based solutions are now being used to grow supply chain and revenue streams, which means that the CIO has an expanded, and more crucial, set of responsibilities within a company. As a CFO manages a company’s financial assets, so too must a CIO manage data assets towards productive uses. CIOs need to understand how different cloud-based services can benefit each discrete business unit; building a strong relationship with a telecom service provider is one way for CIOs to ensure that they stay on top of the latest technologies and cloud-based service offerings.

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1 Fisher, Tom. (2014). The CIO as Chief Innovation Officer: How Cloud is Changing the CIO Role. Oracle. Available at http://www.oracle.com/us/solutions/cloud/managed-cloud-services/thecioaschiefinnovation-2192468.pdf. (Accessed on August 5, 2015).

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