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TMCNet:  Time for CIOs to Think Business

[January 31, 2014]

Time for CIOs to Think Business

(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) As the work environment evolves, roles and duties of the chief information officer (CIO) continue to change with the trend now forcing them to focus on sales and revenue generation within their organisations.


The trend has also been influenced slowly reducing budgets to the IT department, with various activities traditionally set aside for the IT section now being performed by marketing department. The situation has led to fears that the IT and marketing departments will eventually be merged into unit within many organisations in coming 5 years.

Due to this state of affairs, CIOs have to prove their relevance by aligning themselves to other activities that could result in increased revenues for their organisations, a shift from the past when IT managers and CIOs were simply regarded as implementers, planners and regulator in use of internet in the office.

According to Jubilee Insurance's group head of IT Joseph Muritu, CIOs should move from being Chief Information Officers to Chief Information and Innovation Officers who are catalysts within the company from every department, in order to survive the new onslaught and stay relevant, .

"The CIO in 2014 must be the business enabler, the strategist, the business man, salesman and chief innovation and innovations officer," says Muritu, adding that CIOs can perfect the technique of selling so as to benefit the IT department especially when pitching for budgets.

Muritu further noted that CIOs should also seek to influence the formation and composition of boards within their organisations and ensure tat those with an IT background or IT savvy get appointed to serve on the boards.

Muritu's remarks were supported by Baiju Shah, technology delivery director at Telemedia who stated that the CIO must come up with a revenue generation scheme for his department instead of relying on the company's budget.

"As a CIO in your company you need to think of how to transform the business by doing the business of business," he said, adding that in order to develop the right personnel, a CIO must build the right team by getting on board and not being left behind.

Copyright CIO East Africa. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

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