The Blurring Boundaries between CMO/CIO/COO

The blurring boundaries between CMO/CIO/COO

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Companies rely more than ever on IT — but CIOs are losing their seats on the board in surprising numbers. So, what’s happening? How can tech chiefs survive at the top level?

Today, fewer Chief Information Officers sit in boardrooms – reducing from 71% to 58% in just two years, according to research from Harvey Nash/KPMG [1]. Moreover, that’s at a time when Gartner predicts global spending on IT services is growing by 3.2% to a jaw-dropping $3.8 trillion [2].

So, what’s happening?

It seems ironic that in the age of digital transformation, the CIO’s role is diminishing. 

At first glance, it looks like as if other parts of the business are cannibalising the traditional CIO role. For example, Marketing, Sales and Finance can bypass IT altogether and make important tech purchasing decisions for themselves. 

These departments still need IT to provision their phones and laptops, as well as providing a fast connection and corporate security. However, they often purchase what they need from cloud-based services in a way that’s fast and scalable. Their ‘shadow IT’ is towering over traditional IT.

So, it would seem as if CIOs are merely a casualty of new realities: Once they lose their executive status, life will carry on as usual for everyone else? However, something bigger is going on.

The whole deck is shuffling
While CIOs face changing times, so do others. In fact, around the boardroom, every CxO who wants to survive will have to focus increasingly on the value they add to the customer experience.   

Take the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), for example. Back in the day, the CMO might have been on the fringes of boardroom discussions, but getting involved around branding, product launches and campaign ideas to energise sales. 

Over time though, the CMO is becoming more like a Chief Customer Officer, in charge of all customer interactions and experience. The worlds of account management, customer service and social media are blurring — so the CMO’s role is having to do the same.

[1] 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey
[2] Gartner Says Global IT Spending to Grow 3.2 Percent in 2019


Please read the full article on Finance Derivatives.

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