Imagining the Future of the CIO: Innovator, Integrator, and Instigator

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9 December 2015


In an era of digital transformation, it is increasingly difficult to separate strategy from technology. Who is better placed to serve as the critical link between business and IT than the CIO?

The digital transformation goal that many companies set for themselves has to be one of the key reasons to rethink and reimagine the role of the CIO. We are in a curious impasse, with the CIO being asked to mitigate risk and costs of the current estate while simultaneously enabling innovative products and services through investment. This role of “operational strategist” is new for many insurers and their CIOs.

“There is no doubt that the insurers need new organizational leaders for a digital future,” says Catherine Stagg-Macey, an executive advisor with Celent’s Insurance practice and coauthor of the report. “Do the current CIOs have the appetite for the metamorphoses required, and does the C-suite have the vision to embrace a new digital peer? These are the questions to consider.”

This report looks at how the role of the CIO is evolving. The traditional responsibilities of managing IT capital and operational budgets will continue to represent a significant portion of the company’s cost base.

Celent paints a future where a CIO takes on a few different roles. The innovator seeks to understand industry changes, current and future business operating models, and the role that technology has in this future. The instigator is a change agent bringing energy and focus to the discussion of how the world is changing, and the impact on the business. The integrator connects the old with the new.

The report also looks at how to nurture and grow talent within the company. Incumbent and aspiring CIOs will find clarity on what this future view means for their own careers, and how to pave the way for their next career move. Those in the vendor community will see how their relationship with a key stakeholder will change.

This report contains five charts and one table.