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The Chief Everything Officer

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  • 1. Chapter 3 The Chief Everything Officer Should businesses and the CIO embrace the Chief Everything Officer? Or are the job requirements better suited to a number of individuals within the C-Suite? Which option is better for delivering business innovation, competitive advantage and value? Arguably, this is something that can only be decided on a case by case basis. What has worked for one organisation may not work for another. Even so there are a number of factors that must be kept in mind no matter the organisation in order to prevent pitfalls. Preventing “Two Speed IT” Traditionally the CIO is in charge of building and maintaining the IT infrastructure. There is a perception that the CIO “keeps the lights on” as it were. However, with the advent of disruptive technology the IT department once again has that chance to become a real differentiator for the business, driving competitive advantage through technology adoption. The question is whether or not responsibility for this new tech should fall under the CIO’s remit, another member of the C-Suite or a new Executive employee entirely. There are arguments that due to lower technology expertise requirements of SMAC technologies, as they are often hosted or managed by third party suppliers, that the department that uses that new technology should manage it. For example, data collection, analysis and insight is heavily used by the marketing department in many businesses, so some argue that the decisions relating to this technology should be up to the marketing department rather than IT. This can create a challenge for IT as the interplay between third party IT and on premise systems could create a security issue, thereby creating an opposing argument that it should remain within the remit of the IT department. This still poses the question on whether or not a new Executive employee should be hired to handle new technology areas. The issue is splitting traditional IT and disruptive IT between job functions can create conflict between the two technology officers. If the CIO’s role changes little, and the rate of IT commoditisation continues at the same pace, gradually more and more IT will be available through outsourcing or hosting in the cloud. This will essentially erode the CIO’s position. Similarly, the individual responsible for new technology is in a better position to offer technology driven differentiators to the business, thereby positioning themselves more advantageously and directly related to business outcomes. This split can create tension. It may be more agreeable for new technologies to become the CIOs responsibility, helping them to delivering new initiatives directly from the IT department. Innovation Technology
  • 2. www.netapp.com Follow us on: © 2014 NetApp, Inc. All rights reserved. No portions of this document may be reproduced without prior written consent of NetApp, Inc. Specifications are subject to change without notice. NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further faster, Data ONTAP, Flash Accel, Flash Cache, Flash Pool, FlexCache, FlexClone, FlexShare, FlexVol, MetroCluster, MultiStore, NearStore, OnCommand, RAID-DP, SnapManager, SnapMirror, SnapRestore, Snapshot, and SnapVault are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Mac is a registered trademarks of Apple Inc. Windows and Windows Server are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. ESX and VMware are registered trademarks of VMware, Inc. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such. Technology to Services A second fundamental and recognised shift is the move away from a technology focus to a services focus. As mentioned previously, what is defined as a core competency for IT is changing and the IT department and the wider business is regularly asking what can be outsourced or moved to the cloud to save costs, increase value, and benefit the overall business. The conversation has opened up a huge opportunity as the IT department becomes less insular and focuses more and more on the business as a whole, making it a key part of its success. With this in mind, greater management skills are required in order to navigate the labyrinth of suppliers and in- house teams that now make up the “IT department”. This requires high levels of evaluation and analysis to ensure that whatever combination is adopted levels of reliability, security and perfor- mance remain consistent. As Cynthia Stoddard, NetApp CIO says, “As CIOs, we now have an entirely different land- scape and industry to navigate. For example SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS allow an unprecedented choice of applica- tions, reduced reliance on legacy systems, and the opportunity to build solutions ourselves without having to focus on the underlying platform; they also give immediate expansion capabilities as our needs grow. And all that means costs can shift with needs, updates are consistent, the staff is focused on the business of the business, we’re more agile, and we are able to demonstrate new services and technologies…But…you have to embrace the movement: Get on board or be left behind.” The Chief Everything Officer Should the CIO become the Chief Everything Officer? There are a num- ber of merits to this, but before this can happen an evaluation does need to take place of what the business really wants from IT and technol- ogy. Some of the roles described previously may not be required at all, while others could really add value. The best way to do this is start with a blank slate, identifying what, in an ideal world, could benefit the busi- ness. What could be outsourced? What could be cloud hosted? Could data analysis be a key differentiator? These are all questions that need to be asked. The CIO and the wider IT department are in a position of great opportunity. By embracing new responsibilities and investigating the latest IT and technol- ogy revolutions the IT department can evolve to be real drivers of innovation and value to the wider business. About NetApp NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that deliver outstanding cost efficiency and scale to meet changing needs. Discover our passion for helping organizations around the world go further, faster at www.netapp.com Go further, faster®