The pressure on CIOs today is suffocating. Analysts are predicting that IT budgets will drain away to other business leaders such as the CMO, while consumerization and BYOD threaten the very frameworks of control that IT has spent years putting in place.
Plus the calls for technology leaders to deliver better, faster and more for less have reached fever-pitch.
The irony is that while there continues to be question marks over CIO's roles and the value of IT, the dependence on technology by businesses large and small grows ever more critical.
Chief innovation, integration and intelligence officer are titles that have emerged in recent times to highlight the roles that CIOs are being tasked with today. While the CIO could conceivably do any and all of these, he or she should never lose sight of what the "I" stands for in CIO - information.
The reason is that information offers the biggest opportunity for CIOs to demonstrate the true strategic value of IT.
Information is where a competitive edge is derived today. The world has moved on from competing on the best product, the best supply chain or the best processes. Today businesses compete with information. The companies that are able to best leverage information to support their business will be the leaders in their marketplace.
Business today is about knowing the customer better, knowing operations better and knowing the future better than your rivals. All these are down to the ability of an organization to access key information faster than others and the ability to derive relevant insight through the analysis of data from all possible sources.