In the old days the CIO was responsible for everything that managed information, commanded an enormous budget and sat in a very tall chair at the CEO’s table.
This was the norm until the ‘Internet of things’ took over and data began to spill over the walls. Until Software as a Service hit the mainstream. Until a bad economy forced cuts.
Now the CIO has the challenge of maintaining all the pieces that make up the information infrastructure with a budget that is increasingly getting squeezed. Impatient Sales is looking for money to pay for Salesforce.com and impatient marketing is grabbing cash to try out another online platform for generating leads. Every part of the business is looking to do the same.
IT’s slice of the pie is under enormous pressure.
Just this week in a conversation the issue was explained as, “I have a shrinking budget for all of the old stuff, and not for anything new or innovative. That budget has gone elsewhere.” What is a good CIO to do?
At a minimum, IT needs to embrace the business desires for more Social, Mobile, Bring Your Own Device, SaaS, Analytics and Cloud. Move from a reactive to a proactive infrastructure. The momentum is behind these technologies and won’t change any time soon.
IT also needs to see themselves as an innovation center for new technologies and that includes the way the current infrastructure is run. There’s budget to be freed up in the cost of application maintenance by lessening reliance on large, expensive relational databases, proactively moving data to the cloud, and simplifying application integration, to name just a few.
When IT performs the role of the idea lab, they’ll get their budget back and more.