How CIOs Can Adjust to IT Decentralization

Innovations in technology, most notably cloud computing, are changing the roles of CIOs.

Traditionally, CIOs would be the overseer of the support and computer systems to ensure they are meeting company objectives, that software operates efficiently, and that their systems are secure. However, the cloud marks a shift away from centralized IT, and this affects all aspects of the CIO’s role.

Shift to Decentralization

The tendency now has gone away from using company-issued equipment and toward employees using their own devices. Additionally, by using cloud-based services, employees now have access to the programs and information that they need–even from remote locations–as long as they have an internet connection.

Companies are following this BYOD trend. Gartner reports that 90 percent of IT expenses will fall outside of the IT department by 2020.

How CIOs Can Adjust

With a growing demand to meet the needs of the marketplace, it’s imperative that CIOs are able to adapt to the changing business environment. When their organizations adopt a cloud-based model, CIOs must be proactive in their approach to helping the company find the right provider; they should be the driving force to help convince their executives that the business needs this technology.

CIOs can take more proactive roles in a wide variety of ways; here is a look at just some of them:

  • CIOs must stay informed of the technological trends that their business customers want and propose ways to meet those demands.
  • Along with finding new approaches, the CIO must ensure that the new technology they adopt is secure and fits into their organization’s objectives.
  • They must also oversee expenses within their departments to ensure that they receive good returns on their investments.
  • Lastly, they need to set polices and enforce those policies.

Risks With IT Decentralization

While decentralization does offer a wealth of benefits, including easier tools to communicate with remote employees, there are risks associated with using new technologies such as cloud-based platforms.

The main risk is this: when companies transfer data onto a cloud, it becomes susceptible to hacking. Although private cloud providers offer customized security protocols, there is still no guarantee that an organization’s information is secure.

Moreover, when installing new programs onto their devices, it’s important that employees install security controls mandated by the CIO. If they don’t and their devices become infected with malware, it becomes another risk that CIOs must contend with in order to protect their organization’s data.

Building New Relationships

With IT decentralization comes new responsibilities for CIOs. This means that they must build relationships with others within their companies since they now will assume a more strategic role.

CIOs should build a relationship with the company’s CFO to ensure that their next technological implementations offer a return on their investment. Next, they need to meet regularly with the head of the marketing department to make sure that the technology they offer is meeting their customer needs.

Overall, CIOs who communicate effectively and are willing to reach out to other departments will have more success during transitions.

The popularity of services like cloud-based computing will change the roles of CIOs. By adapting to these changes and building relationships with other department heads, CIOs can take advantage of these changes to help their companies meet their objectives.

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