CIO role evolving in response to “shadow ICT”

The public sector is seeing the rapid rise of “shadow IT” – the phenomenon where departments are buying their own tech solutions, according to a new report.

A survey by supplier BT of chief information officers across the world found that 69% identified the trend as affecting their organisation.

And the report said that the growing confidence of departments in buying  their own ICT solutions is changing the role of CIO to a more strategic role, centred on advice, governance and security.

Luis Alvarez, chief executive officer, BT Global Services, said: “CIOs are perfectly placed to nurture creative uses of technology throughout their organisations while keeping a strategic view.  Indeed, our research shows that the board expects nothing less.”

On average, the report said, “shadow IT” now accounts for 20% of public sector organisations’ ICT spend.

And CIOs in the public sector are now spending 18% more time and more of their budget on security as a result. 

According to the survey, 53% of respondents in the public sector say that the CIO now has a much more central role in the boardroom compared with two years ago, versus 59 per cent of CIOs globally. 

In addtion, 63% board’s expectations of them have increased substantially during the same period, with 70% saying  they are now measured against more business than technology key performance indicators.

Alvarez said: “I’ve been a CIO and to me it feels as if we’re on the verge of a renaissance of the profession with greater opportunities than ever before.  In this new environment, CIOs who can adopt a creative, imaginative and visionary mind-set, and look more to their ICT partners for innovation and fresh thinking, will thrive.”

The poll also found that 68% of public sector CIOs view mobility as a technology that can help unlock their creativity, with 65% citing unified communications and 60% listing the cloud.

Colin Marrs

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