Finance heads predict the end for CIOs

Despite information technology becoming increasingly important for companies, the role of CIOs is predicted to change by business leaders.

The role of chief information officer is expected to disappear within five years by one in five chief financial officers, statistics show.

A survey of 203 financial decision makers from businesses with more than 1,000 employees reveals that 17 per cent of CFOs predict the role will cease to exist as the responsibility for buying IT, and making strategic decisions for IT, in the business team change.

The shift is highlighted by the finding from Getronics that 77 per cent of CFOs and financial directors questioned admit to assuming a greater responsibility for IT decisions over the past 1-2 years. Some 43 per cent of financial decision makers believe that the CIO role will merge more with finance.

Findings from the report show that 38 per cent of finance heads initiate cloud projects directly, with an additional 39 per cent involved in some capacity.

More than half (56 per cent) say that a lack of integration between finance and IT limits the impact on cost savings achievable from IT projects within a business.

Mark Cook, CEO of Getronics UK, comments, 'The role of the CIO has often been a point of contention within many organisations since its very inception.

'Some of us in the industry will remember when the first IT roles were created in business and that these were predominantly within finance. It's only in recent years that we've seen IT as a standalone department and we're now seeing it come full circle, with one crucial difference: the CIO today is responsible for greater levels of innovation than ever before.'

Cook adds that the role has shifted towards one of providing strategic consultancy to finance and managing the wider business.