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The CIO will survive – the IT department may not

søren lehn | computerworld | 4 May 2016

PA IT transformation expert, Søren Lehn, has had a byline published in Computerworld discussing the future role of the CIO. The role of the CIO will survive, Søren predicts, but the role will change dramatically in the coming years. According to Søren, companies will become increasingly digital, and technology will make up the very foundation of all companies. So where does this leave the CIO?

Søren explains: “First of all, the CIO needs to understand what digital transformation means and then take ownership of the change process. The question is not if digital changes will start affecting your company, the question is when, and this puts demands on the CIO. A digital transformation of a company affects all parts of the business including customers’ experiences of the company’s services and products; the internal, corporate culture; new processes; automation; and new channel and sourcing strategies just to name a few. This is when the CIO needs to take responsibility and lead.”

According to Søren, the CIO is the obvious change agent – he has the necessary knowledge about technology, automation and digital platforms. When embarking on a major change process, the CIO should start in a small scale, making minor investments, ensuring that their value is transparent and clear to management, such as a new customer app or a digital platform that enables smoother and more efficient corporate decision making.

“I believe the CIO is the best candidate to claim the role as change agent for digital transformation and it’s his responsibility to take leadership for the company’s digital business platform. The question is if the CIO is courageous enough to accept the challenge. If he is, his role is secured for a long time to come, even if the role of the IT department isn’t,” concludes Søren.

Søren Lehn is an IT transformation expert at PA Consulting Group 

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