Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Outsourcing has always been a key component of the technology sector; however recently it has been not just basic IT services, but key CIO roles taken on by outsiders. The term ‘virtual CIO’ (vCIO) is gaining increasing momentum, and refers to an individual or service that is charged at an hourly or flat rate fee for the provision of services that incorporate technology and business strategy. vCIOs are particularly popular with small and mid-sized businesses, because they make the strategic guidance of an expert affordable.
Respondents to our latest CIO and IT Leadership survey are reporting a 40% increase in their IT budget, over the past year. However there is something really interesting in the underlying data which suggests that the pressure to commoditise is like never before: IT budgets that have given back savings year on year are still under pressure for a more cost-effective solution. So why do we see this discrepancy? The answer lies in one of the fundamental parts of the survey: two-speed IT.
While there is a lot of focus and discussion on how to outsource the right way and bring business value, a very common mistake many companies make is around ignoring how outsourced services are orchestrated with the functions of the retained organisation(s) to provide business with a seamless “IT experience". Organisations retain specific IT functions for a good reason. There’s the core vs non-core aspect, and then some functions require specialised skills that are best outsourced.
Wandering around the Gartner Symposiums at the end of last year, listening to the keynote speakers and chatting with CIOs from some of the world’s leading brands, it is clear that the year’s theme was very apt. “Rise to the Challenge” reflects both the exciting opportunities and the daunting demands on IT departments. At a time when budgets continue to flat line, CEOs are looking to digital transformation as a crucial step to their future business success, and they expect their CIOs to pull out the proverbial IT rabbit to support this goal.