Gartner has it wrong. It isn't that the CIOs need to change. It's that the enterprise needs to rethink how the business runs and is organized.
Issues with CIOs (and their reach, authority and tenure) have been a consistent problem since the role was invented. From my perspective, the key drivers of these issues is that "the business" 1) thinks they know how technology works primarily because of mass "consumerization", and 2) continues to relegate information technology aspects of the enterprise to pure cost-center status. You can see this in the fact that most CIOs do not actually have real C-level status - they report up through CFOs or COOs. These two aspects of corporate organization force CIOs into regressive, "order taking" roles rather than progressive partnering relationships.
When I have strategic discussions with senior people about the critical (and thus elevated) nature of IT and why senior folks need to have a place at the strategy "table", I ask a very simple question - how long would the business be able to survive if a portion of it were removed or severely reduced? Remove entire HR marketing, or legal departments, or reduce finance to just basic invoice and bill paying and most businesses could operate for quite a while before they would slow down and eventually stop.
How long would the business operate if you removed IT support? How long if you removed information technology altogether? Most would grind to a halt in a couple of days. 40 or 50 years ago this was not the case. Times have changed but the basic organizational roles and paradigms have not.
I also think Gartner's position with regard to "cleaning up the mess" is off the mark as well. I've seen far too many ERP and Finance systems that were customized beyond recognition (creating a larger mess), not because of process redesign or automation efficiency gains strategically recommended by IT, but because IT was forced to implement solutions based on a "this is how we do it - make it work like that" mentality.
While it may be a gross generalization, most senior non-IT executives have difficulty taking a rigorous look and making a concentrated effort to understand what is ultimately possible with long-term, strategic applications of technology. It is much easier to take a tactical, short-term approach and leave someone else to clean up the "mess" after they're gone.
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