CI Uh-Oh: Is the CIO role under threat from robotics and automation?


By Neil Kinson, Chief of Staff, Redwood Software

There’s an assumption that, with the rise of roles like digital transformation officers, CIOs are being overlooked; that they’re being replaced and superseded. That’s not true though. Or at least, it certainly shouldn’t be true, as there are different skill sets required for each.

Where digital officers may have the brief to deliver against wide-ranging transformation projects, they aren’t necessarily the people with the deepest technology knowledge. By contrast, the role of the CIO is to ensure the right skills, technology and attitude are brought to every project. And it’s the role 74% of businesses still look to for initiating new technology projects.

Perception versus reality

While the necessity of the CIO shouldn’t be under threat, it is still a role that requires the navigation and balancing of some awkward dynamics – there’s always been the enduring perception that ‘IT is too slow’ to respond to changing demands.

Coupled with the hype around new technologies, and the capabilities of ‘AI’, this perceived lack of agility (itself usually a by-product of ensuring a robust environment) is one of the biggest challenges many CIOs face.

Rather than robotics and process automation posing a threat to CIOs, they’re technologies that should be viewed as an opportunity – to increase agility, process resilience and innovation. By freeing up skills in the workforce, and implementing strategies such as bimodal IT cycles, CIOs can better leverage both technology and talent.

The role of the CIO is a largely thankless task, as people don’t really take too much notice until something breaks. That illustrates, however, that it remains a vital role and that the reality is that CIO involvement is essential for any successful digital or transformation project.

In future blogs, we’ll look at three opportunities that robotics and automation present for CIOs. In the meantime, if you want to see how robotics and automation can fit into your business strategy, get in touch via the box below.
 

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