Maryfran Johnson and Jim Stikeleather: The Changing Role of the CIO

Maryfran Johnson, Editor in Chief of CIO Magazine, sits down with Jim Stikeleather and shares her views on the CIO’s changing role in the organization. She describes a new business environment where there is keen interest in customer engagement and finding insights in data to facilitate human-to-human connections. This leads to what she describes as a “shotgun wedding,” where Marketing is compelled to seek out IT as a business partner, and how this leads to uncomfortable bedfellows—marketing people who are comfortable with blue sky and IT “problem solvers” who like process.

In response to a question from Jim about IT’s new responsibilities, she goes on to discuss how some CIOs are not content with the traditional role of IT isolated off on its own island, and are actively building bridges with the rest of the company. Plus, she describes the “piling on effect” facing CIOs. CIO Magazine’s research reveals that 60% of CIOs have a plus-plus role—that is, CIO plus another functions such as running facilities. While Jim concurs that this can overstretch the CIO, they agree it is also helping to evolve CIOs toward becoming more of business leaders and participants around boardroom tables.

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