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4 Personas of the Next-Generation CIO

Kristin Burnham | March 3, 2011
A new breed of CIOs is emerging. Here's a look at four roles that CIOs will be asked to play, ranging from Chief Integration Officer to Chief Innovation Officer -- plus details on the required skills.

"As many of the infrastructure functions are being outsourced or handled in cloud environments, the persona of the chief intelligence officer is growing into one of the most essential," Wang says.

4. Chief "Innovation" Officer

Investing 5 percent to 10 percent of the overall budget, chief innovation officers must drive innovation on a shoestring, according to the report. This persona typically has a business background and "moves fast, fails fast and moves on."

"The chief innovation officer is probably the toughest persona that CIOs will have difficulty adopting," Wang says. "This requires a good understanding of the business strategy as well as keeping up to date with a large amount of disruptive technology. Often times, these technologies are not covered in the market and require early adopter teams."

As for core skills, Wang notes that next-generation CIOs will need the ability to:

1. Quickly assess which disruptive technologies show promise for their organizations. 

Leading organizations will reinvest in research budgets and internal processes that inform, disseminate and prepare their organization for an increasing pace in technology adoption.

2. Design next-gen business models. 
IT leaders must identify where these technologies can create differentiation through new business models, grow profit and deliver money-saving market efficiencies.

3. Fund innovation through legacy optimization. 
IT budgets are expected to remain relatively flat through 2011. As a result, much of the disruptive technology and next-gen business models must be funded through optimizing existing investments.


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