Deloitte U: The dual roles of the CIO in the digital age

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In “The dual roles of the CIO in the digital age,” authors Vikram Mahidhar and David Schatsky drill down into the challenges associated with the CIO’s twin responsibilities as builder of technology and of the business. As the authors point out, “the power of digital technologies is leading CIOs to take a more expansive view of their roles. No longer is their job merely to build and operate the technology their business needs to function. Increasingly, they see their role as helping to increase revenue, improve customer experience, coax insight out of the growing amount of data generated by companies’ digital operations, and shape strategy.” This approach brings new questions to the CIO’s office, covering issues of legacy IT infrastructure, architecture and integration, performance and cost management, security, skills, and roles and relationships. According to Deloitte, roughly half of CIOs do not feel prepared for these challenges; the post provides some guidance on the steps that need to be taken to address them.

The rapid adoption of digital technologies is putting new pressures on IT organizations. As spending on cloud, mobile, analytics, and social technology soars, CIOs have the opportunity to help drive strategy, innovation, and revenue growth. At the same time, these technologies present major new challenges in the traditional domain of IT: building and integrating information systems while cost-effectively operating a reliable and secure infrastructure. Today’s CIO must play a dual role: builder of technology and builder of the business.


  • The cloud services market is expanding 5 times faster than traditional IT spending
  • Enterprises spent over $30 billion globally on big data technology and services in 2013
  • Leading CIOs describe their roles in terms such as “imagination,” “chief innovation officer,” and “revenue-generator CIO”
  • Seventy percent of CIOs envision becoming CEO one day
  • Half of CIOs feel unable to cope with the pace of change brought by digital technologies

Enterprise IT is being transformed by digital technologies

IT organizations are changing. Previously focused mostly on building and operating IT infrastructure and automating business processes, CIOs are now looking for new ways to bring value to their businesses…

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