CIO role will disappear in 5 years, say many CFOs

New tech trends are changing IT’s role within the organization, and that will have a big impact on what it means to be the CIO or IT manager. 

Thanks to the rise in cloud computing, IT consumerization and other new trends, the role of the IT department is changing. In turn, that will drastically change the role of CIOs and IT managers, according to a recent survey of finance leaders conducted by UK IT service provider Getronix. And those predicted changes may not be good news for IT departments.

In fact, 17% of the 203 finance pros surveyed predict the CIO position will disappear altogether within the next five years. Another 43% believe the CFO and CIO roles will merge.

Others’ predictions aren’t so drastic, but 77% say their company’s finance team is becoming more involved in IT purchasing decisions, and 48% believe there is a trend toward greater integration between IT and finance.

One factor leading CFOs to gain more control over IT: the increasing popularity of cloud computing. More than 40% of finance professionals believe CFOs are becoming more influential due to IT services moving to the Cloud, according to another recent survey conducted by Google.

The reason: With cloud services, less technical expertise is required for implementation, and in many cases, companies’ decisions about whether or not to turn the Cloud are based largely on cost.

The good news: The finance pros in the Google survey don’t think this means IT managers will become any less influential. In fact, the majority feel increased use of cloud computing will give IT departments more opportunities to innovate and contribute to corporate strategy.

So which survey is correct — will the Cloud and other tech trends signal the end of the CIO and IT manager as we know them, or will those jobs just evolve, as all jobs do over time?

Analysts inside the technology field seem to think it’s the latter. One thing to keep in mind is these surveys polled CFOs and other finance pros, so there’s likely some amount of bias in their responses.

One thing is clear, though: It’s becoming increasingly necessary for IT to impress finance, especially as IT managers are now reporting directly to the CFO in increasing numbers.

That means IT must do a better job communicating with finance, particularly when it comes time to ask for a budget increase. For help with that, download our white paper, 7 Statements Your CFO or CEO Needs to Hear to Increase IT Spending.