Digital Transformation, Role of the CDO, and More: IDC’s 2015 CIO Predictions Are Out

186936810Last week IDC previewed its 2015 CIO Predictions, and if you missed it and your business is, or will be, dependent on the data it’s generating or accumulating (so that means pretty much all of you), you’ll want to check out the findings.

Already, IDC’s prediction about the future of the CIO role is getting attention socially. Specifically, IDC predicts that 60% of CIOs will be supplanted by CDOs for the delivery of IT-enabled products and services by 2020.

Like Gil Press, gPress managing partner and author of a LinkedIn post on the topic, I find this data point a bit startling, especially when you consider the relative newness of the CDO role. And I wager that if you’re a CIO, you may feel similarly.

“Here we go again: The CIO is relegated to “keeping the trains running on time,” writes Press. “Why not entrust [them] with finding new insights in the data or uncovering the new digital business opportunities?” he asks. “The answer seems to be that are not considered to have the right experience and skills to lead the “digital transformation” of the business.”

As Stephen Manley and I have been writing here on The Protection Continuum for many months, the role of the CIO, and IT in general, is at a tipping point. How your organization embraces this change, and, importantly, when it does, will have a direct impact on the future of your business. Standing still will not be an option. It’s that simple.

This tipping point represents an opportunity for IT departments, and the people within them (not jut CIOs), to elevate their status within their organizations to one of strategic business importance. Yes, the decisions IT makes, in consult with business teams, has the power to affect revenue generation, market valuation, and competitiveness, among other things.

Along these lines, IDC predicts that 80% of the CIO’s time by 2017, to be focused on analytics, cyber-security and creating new revenue streams through digital services.

To rise to the challenges of our new interconnected world, IDC Predictions call for some significant changes in IT technology, delivery and processes. Notably:

  • By 2016, CIOs will deliver a new architectural framework that enables innovation and improved business decision-making.
  • By 2016, 80% of CIOs will accelerate Third Platform migration to counter premature obsolescence of current IT assets.
  • By 2018, 30% of CIOs of global organizations will have rolled out a pan-enterprise data and analytics strategy.

What are your thoughts on the CDO versus CIO role? Does every organization need a CDO? And, if yes, do you believe this transition of “power” will take place, relegating the CIO to infrastructure “keeper”? Or, do you believe like Jean-Michel Letennier, CTO of Atomic Database Corp (who responded to Press’ LinkedIn article) that “the data office will go the wayside as well… [and] sooner than people think.”

Chime in here or on Twitter @biggarhb.

About the Author: Heidi Biggar