CIOs: Going the Way of the Dinosaur?

WASHINGTON (05/10/2000) - It sounds unlikely, but the concept of the chief information officer could be a thing of the past.

That is one possibility stemming from the changing role of technology experts in public and private organizations, said C.D. Hobbs, senior vice president and general manager of executive services at the Meta Group Inc.

In the early years of its existence, the CIO post was filled by an employee from the information technology shop, working to deliver the applications or systems architectures needed to support an organization's daily operations.

But the role of the technology expert is merging more and more with the role of the operations or business manager, said Hobbs, speaking Monday at the Government CIO Summit in Savannah, Georgia.

Top management is looking for someone well-versed in business strategies as well as technology architectures. The CIO, or its equivalent, may rise in the ranks to fill that need, with the technically oriented requirement met by something akin to the chief technology officer, Hobbs said.

In any case, whether or not the CIO name remains, "technologists who can bridge technology into the business architecture are going to have insanely interesting career opportunities," he said.

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