Earlier this week, our colleagues at InformationWeek examined the idea that the CIO role is set for a fundamental shift in focus. According to industry analyst firm Gartner, this shift is marked by the following characteristics: From a focus on cost to a focus on growth, from automation to amplification, and from IT to technology.
Gartner group VP Mark McDonald went on to explain that IT traditionally has been concerned with cost control, back office applications, and lengthy application development processes. A focus on technology means a customer-facing orientation often built around social network interaction, rapid development of a "mosaic" of services rather than monolithic years-long development, and a mobile-first strategy.
This seems to be in line with similar statements I have heard from some bank CIOs. The focus on being a "product and services" organization rather than an "order-taker" model is a recurring theme.
In fact, many current bank CIOS came not from a tech background, but were part of a product division. A quick glance at Bank Systems & Technology's 2012 Elite 8 nominees reveals that several of them didn't rise through the ranks from "traditional" tech backgrounds.
Will there be a focus away from IT and towards technology? As McDonald puts it, "This is a critical difference. IT solutions like ERP, CRM and the like automate the enterprise with a focus on consolidation and cost. Technologies such as mobile, social, big data and cloud are fundamentally different than IT. These technologies amplify performance and strategy."
Needless to say, it will be an interesting three years.