What do these job titles have in common?

  • Product Architect
  • Chief Delivery Officer
  • Chief Process Officer

If you answered, “they’re all vague,” you’d be half right. Actually, those job titles are examples of the kinds you’ll see cropping up in IT in the not-too-distant future.

According to Computerworld, IT job titles will likely be “scrubbed of any hint of computers, databases, software development languages or data networks.”

Why? It’s a direct result of IT becoming integrated into the business. It’s a way of conveying involvement in providing a service or product rather than an alignment with a specific technology.

Xcel Energy, a $10 billion electric power and natural gas utility in Minneapolis, is changing the way it looks at IT. The company expects its data managers to be able to look at data and figure out answers to questions, such as where money is being lost. In other words, the company wants someone to put data in a business context.

Of course, this movement shouldn’t be news to anyone, what with the media having bludgeoned us with the term IT/business alignment for the past few years. But it looks like it’s becoming more of a concern to IT pros at the middle level and not just the CIO-level folks.

Anthony Hill, CIO at Golden Gate University, says that his organization has outsourced virtually all of its technology operations. He sums up things this way, “IT is being driven out of the business of managing technology. Traditional IT has been about data centers, servers, software development, software implementation, and the maintenance and management of all of that.” But that’s not the case any more. He adds:

“IT will focus more on analysis and be more involved in the early life-cycle tasks [of developing products and services] and less on technology delivery. IT will focus more on simulation, content and information architecture.” Hill says the bottom line is: “Moving away from technology management doesn’t take IT out of the picture. It changes what IT does.”