How to bounce back after a tough 2014

Close up of boxer's feet skippingCIOs I’ve spoken to in recent months are pretty unanimous that 2014 has been a difficult year. The rise of digital and big data may be creating opportunities, but it is putting the CIO under considerable pressure.

For a start, the response in many companies seems to be to split off important parts of the CIO’s remit. This year has seen more companies move to create a chief data officer to drive the strategic use of data within the enterprise, or a chief digital officer (see a previous post “CIO or CDO”?), to take responsibility for integrating digital technology and leveraging it across the organization.

At the same time, the take-up of digital and big data is leading to a major escalation of cybersecurity threats. A number of large companies have experienced serious security breaches this year.

Cybersecurity risk is inevitably demanding an increasing part of the CIO’s attention –after all, it is a matter of survival (cyber risk is becoming a career issue for CIOs).

Could cybersecurity end up being the main focus of a narrower remit for the CIO –alongside taking care of IT infrastructure?

In fact, it’s far too soon to write off the CIO.

As the revolution created by big data and digitization continues, the ability to control and influence these developments is still very much up for grabs. The structure of power within the C-suite remains in flux.

So there is still everything to play for in 2015. CIOs need to master digital developments, and show their ability to take a strategic view of the business and drive digital and data use across the company.

The circumstances for the CIO may be challenging, but there is still every chance of success.

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