Many companies, even in "traditional" industries, run complex technology businesses. And the further, the more intensively this process will develop. For example, an electrical network or an oil refinery - there is a huge amount of sophisticated technological equipment. The weight of a manager who provides all the IT connections for such a complex is now very far from the role of a simple head of the IT department. In some cases, this person already rightfully stands next to the CEO, and, for example, in the field of online banking or online insurance, his importance may be even higher.
IT has become a core process not only in business, but and in the field of public administration. Based on this, it is no longer possible to fundamentally reduce your need for IT - there is a certain minimum, "hygienic" level of manufacturability, below which it is impossible to go down.
The transformation of IT from a secondary to one of the main, and in some businesses to a key asset, by the way, gives rise to another very important effect for our business - the dying of the position of "CIO" in its traditional sense.
Previously, decisions were made at the CIO level, he thought about which "hardware" is more productive, which router is better, and so on. This format of work is gradually becoming history. Although some companies claim that these solutions are at the level of the head of IT, and management does not need to try to "be the smartest." It seems that the role of a CTO in such companies is either a vanishing nature, or they are lying to themselves, being at the head of a dramatically stagnant business.
IT has now become a task that top management never fully delegates to anyone. Because a mistake in technology can easily kill a business or make it unmanageable. Key decisions in IT are now made at the top, and the position of a system integrator is, on the one hand, to be a client's navigator in the world of big IT trends, and on the other hand, to offer solutions and products that are understandable to a business leader.
Now this is ours the main function, and I am very pleased, because at IBS we have always tried to work this way and often even overtook the client in this. Now we feel that the approach we are accustomed to is becoming truly in demand.
Top manager - the top manager of the enterprise. Its functions include, among other things, operational management, control, delegation. A top manager is in charge of a lot of management issues. All he is unable to master. But he must have control over the solution of those tasks that he sets for lower-level employees, incl. in front of the CIO. For this, certain knowledge is required and indicators of the performance of the unit should be introduced.
A real life example: a top manager instructs the chief accountant to optimize taxes. He does not have the competence of an accountant, but must himself or with the help of third parties check the employee's efficiency. whether everything has been done to optimize it, whether there are critical errors, whether the legislation is complied with.
If a top manager trusts all decisions to a CIO, then why does a company need a top manager?
I believe that everyone should be responsible for their "territory". A top manager can consult with the CIO on specific issues, but making decisions on issues is the task of the top manager.
On the other hand, if the issue concerns changes in the company's IT infrastructure (here we mean not only hardware, but also the working software involved, ERP and CRM systems, content management systems for online stores, etc., etc.) - a top manager who is not an expert in this area is simply obliged to consult with the CIO to determine the possible consequences of the decision.