Why 2012 is decision time for CIOs

2012 is going to be a year of hard decisions for CIOs, and the new CIO Insights blog is here to help

Welcome to the new CIO Insights blog: whether it’s deciding which new technologies will have the biggest impact on businesses, or how to explain the value of IT to the board, we’ll be looking at the big issues of the day for IT chiefs.

This blog will be featuring the experiences of real-life CIOs and IT leaders alongside original reporting, and CIO Insights will also be home to the CIO Jury, our regular poll of IT chiefs on the issues that matter to them. In this blog you’ll also find our jargon-busting Cheat Sheets series which explains complex tech concepts for a business audience. Some of our readers may know both of these from our sister publication silicon.com.

More than any other senior exec, CIOs are facing huge amounts of change to their jobs this year, making 2012 a time of big decisions for smart CIOs. A few reasons why:

  • Consumerisation and the bring-your-own-device culture mean everyone in the workplace considers themselves to be an IT expert, challenging the CIO's ability to control the equipment used to access corporate systems.
  • The rise of cloud computing means that the days of lazily presiding over an empire of servers are numbered, with the result that CIOs have less physical control over their core infrastructure than ever before.
  • IT budgets remain flat - if you’re lucky- but at the same time CEOs are demanding that CIOs prove their claim that IT can drive more profitable businesses.

All of this - and plenty more - means the old certainties of the CIO's job are being washed away like King Canute’s sandcastles. And to make sure that they don’t get swept away too, CIOs have got some big decisions to make this year about what their role is and how they can help the IT team and the rest of the organisation succeed. For example - how do CIOs excel at their job and distinguish themselves when their hardware is virtualised, their software in the cloud and staff choose their own hardware?

But what do you think? What is the top priority for the CIO? Where should they be placing their bets this year?