I recently read a fascinating article on the impact of digital technology on CIOs. The article focuses on how CIOs face both, an opportunity and a threat, as organizations embrace digital technology. The rise of cloud computing, mobile technology, and data analytics is disrupting existing business models. What role will the CIO play, if any, in digital innovation? The questions surrounding the relevance of the CIO has been an integral part of Apptio and Technology Business Management.

I strongly believe that CIOs will rise to the occasion of not only adopting but also leading how digital technology impacts their organizations. Here’s how:

CIOs will have the right tools to build credibility with the business

Much of the negative narrative around IT stems from the lack of a CIO management system. While other C-level peers have management systems in their disciplines – SalesForce for the VP of Sales and Marketo for CMOs - CIOs have lacked a comparable application to make fact-based decisions. As a result, they haven’t been able to manage IT costs and investments effectively, or communicate the value of IT to the business.

It’s been Apptio’s mission to build this toolkit for CIOs. Over the past seven years, CIOs from the world’s best companies have relied on Apptio’s suite of applications to help them build this credibility with their business.

Successful CIOs will be strategic partners with their business

Rebranding the CIO, as the article suggests, is contingent upon showing a CIO’s ability to partner strategically with the business. CIOs are now empowered by Apptio to show the true value they are delivering to the enterprise, without getting bogged down by performance subjectivity. A successful CIO will change the conversation and behavior in their IT organization. Their role will evolve from one of just “running IT” to investing in technology that can grow and change the business.

They will create a successful service organization

IT is going through some fundamental changes. At the forefront of this, the role of the CIO is evolving to become a strategic services provider and business enabler. This applies principles from the services and infrastructure level to the business management level. CIOs that are service-oriented create an opportunity for their IT organization to become true centers of excellence.

The successful digital CIO will only continue to gain relevance and importance in their organization. With the right tools and approach, they will drive innovation in their business.

Apptio is committed to enabling the continued success of CIOs. We recently partnered with the TBM Council to identify a set of metrics that help bridge the communication gap between IT and business leaders. The resulting Business Technology Value Scorecard proposes four categories of KPIs as the basis for a common language of metrics between IT leaders and their business partners. It’s worth a read and provides recommendations on how digital CIOs can continue to maintain and improve their relevance.

I look forward to reading your comments in the section below!