The Evolution of the CIO

    Modern CIOs are attempting to balance the legacy of yesterday with the demands of digital business in the twenty-first century, so what does that mean for the future of our CIOs? It means we should expect a CIO with an increasingly diverse, non-technical background who partners more with the broader business to deliver innovation and value.

    In order for businesses to remain competitive in their ability to innovate, a CIO’s ability to play a major role in partner and customer relations is a priority. Outstanding leadership and influencing skills will determine which CIOs are most successful in the future.

    In this slideshow, Kevin Griffin, CIO, GE Capital International, takes a look at how CIOs have, and will, evolve in the future.

    Kevin Griffin has responsibility for information technology across the consumer and commercial finance businesses that comprise GE Capital International. He is currently based in London, UK. Prior to this role, Kevin held a number of increasingly responsible CIO roles within GE Capital businesses in Europe: Capital EMEA (2008-2013), GE Corporate Financial Services (2004-2008) and GE Equipment Services (2002-2004). Between 1993 and 2001, Kevin held IT leadership roles with GE Plastics across the EMEA, Americas and Asia poles, being appointed CIO of GE Plastics Americas in 1999, before returning to Europe to join GE Capital in 2002.

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    The CIO: Today and Tomorrow

    Click through for a closer look at how the CIO role is evolving, provided by Kevin Griffin, CIO, GE Capital International.

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    The Current State of the CIO

    You typically see an IT professional with a legacy skill set, someone with a MIS/IT/engineering degree who has built business acumen along the way. However, what’s different from just five or 10 years ago is the demand for speed and agility by the business as it transitions to become increasingly digital, capitalizing on the new tech trends: social, mobile, data, cloud, etc.

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    How Will Tomorrow’s CIO Be Different?

    Some of tomorrow’s CIOs will come from the traditional disciplines such as IT and engineering, but an increasing percentage will come from non-technical backgrounds as the importance of aligning business and IT strategy at the board level grows. They will drive more of a partnership model with the business and with technology vendors – this includes crowdsourcing some aspects of IT strategy from the business, leveraging best-of-breed solutions from vendor partners, and depending on strong IT architecture/engineering functions to integrate solutions into a set of business services.

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    What New Skills Are Needed?

    Skills that are important today, like strategic thinking and ability to influence/drive change, will be critical for the future. Partnership skills will be paramount. Not all solutions will come from within the enterprise–leveraging solutions from external partners and knitting them together to provide value to the enterprise will drive differentiation.

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    What’s the Biggest Impact on Their Role?

    It’s easy to list emerging technologies as potentially having the biggest impact, but analytics in particular will change the game for many industries, as we harness the structured and unstructured data within enterprises and then find new ways to “monetize” this data to create value for the enterprise and its customers.

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    What Isn’t Going to Change?

    CIOs will always have to show the value equation, i.e. how investments in technology will contribute to the bottom line. Running IT like a business, with a good handle on cost, will continue to be a priority for CEOs and therefore for CIOs. The ability to hire and retain talent and ensure critical intellectual property is retained within the enterprise will always be important. Deciding how and where work gets done to get the right blend of business intimacy and cost will always be a challenge, as will the ability to pick the right partners and solutions and to quickly “pivot” if adverse outcomes are seen.

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