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This report takes a broad look at the role of the CIO. Many CIOs need to take up the challenge of transforming their role, or face a future in which their relevance to the business continues to decline.


  • A few high-profile CIOs have taken the evolutionary step toward becoming a digital enabler, but many remain stuck in the "tar pit of technology delivery" rather than seizing the expanding opportunity of "change enablement."
  • The process of engagement should be based on this simple maxim: "Talk to anyone who will listen to you and listen to anyone who will talk to you."

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes the changing role of the CIO and the emergence of the chief digital officer (CDO).
  • Learn how enterprise architecture can help the business.

Key questions answered

  • How can the CIO become a trusted advisor to the business?
  • How can the critical trifecta of cost, risk, and change be balanced to achieve progress?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages

Recommendations for enterprises

  • Identify the scale of the challenge by asking your customers
  • Remember that better than awful is not good
  • Begin the process of changingby listening to your customers
  • Explicitly align your mission with the wider organization
  • Have the courage to terminate zombie projects
  • Get the basics right
  • Create and implement an engagement strategy
  • Get a grip on "digital" – regardless of your title

Recommendations for vendors

  • Make sure your proposition is about more than just technology
  • Help your clients to make the business case
  • Tell a story around business outcomes rather than features

Step up or be sidelined – take action now

  • If you do not take the lead in bringing new technology to your organization, someone else will
  • Use the untapped resource of "misdirected enthusiasm" that manifests as "shadow IT"
  • IT cannot be the source of all innovation – but it can show what is possible
  • Transitioning from barrier to enabler requires significant change

The CIO needs to be a "trusted friend" rather than a "technical superstar"

  • Business users need someone on their side
  • Cloud services need brokers not mechanics

The digital agenda could be the savior of the CIO

  • CIO, CDO, CTO – what's in a title?
  • "Digital" is more than marketing

Enterprise architecture can be a powerful tool to help the business

  • The purpose of enterprise architecture is to achieve business outcomes
  • If your enterprise architecture does not map to business outcomes, do not expect thanks

IT needs to think differently about services

  • The time to start is now


  • Further reading
  • Authors

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