…Information Week back in June, (been meaning to comment on this for some time), but the source seems to be CIOs themselves. That’s interesting because over the last year or so it has seemed that CIOs themselves were pessimistic about their role and prospects. More interesting is why this change has come about? After all the last five years has seen an increasing move to have the CIOs route to the management board blocked off and the reporting line to go to the Chief Financial Officer, CFO. That’s a sure sign that the role of IT and the CIO is cost driven! BUT it’s the CEO and the Business managing CxOs that have come to the rescue, seems that they ‘get it’ when it comes to what is happening with technology and its possibilities for business. The result is that they are soliciting the CIO, and their team, to get involved by giving their guidance to new business requirements. The shift is amazing if the data provided by researching the views of 575 business and technology professionals is true, (and if may be CIOs over emphasising their importance that has produced the figures). Fully 34% now said they were actively involved in new major business decisions with only 21% saying that they were only brought in after the decision had been made. 88% say that the real driver is the new role of technology in customer facing and interfacing activities, and that their expertise with their department is considered a crucial new element in getting this right. Really bold CIOs are even commenting that there unique understanding of the way business really works and operates; (it’s all about IT stupid!), qualifies them for the top jobs. 29% say they are the potentially the next Chief Operating Officer, and 6% say CEO, but a more pragmatic group of 29% say Chief Technical Excellence Officer, but it’s the 19% who saying Chief Process Excellence Officer that I identify with. The challenge for an organisation in a global competitive market is that the enterprise who first figures out how to link and focus their resources to react to market events, what my colleague Eddie Short calls the ‘Intelligent Enterprise’, will win. The only way I can see this working is by process excellence thorough technology and methodology. The capability to deliver and maintain a project, or a local business requirement, will have to move on, and the skill will be to design the business tasks well enough to genuinely be organised into reusable business task elements across the Enterprise processes. Moving from the technology architect to the business architect and the only people currently who look able to aspire to this new role are from the IT department. Maybe that’s the reason for the new optimism? The IT department just looked around and saw it was the best qualified to help the business make its mark in the new markets. Now we have the opportunity we just have to make it happen, and that’s the tough bit.