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CIOs must manage all business information, says Gartner

The role of the CIO must change to ensure all the information contained in business assets is available, irrespective of who manages those assets, says Gartner.

The role of the CIO must change to ensure all the information contained in business assets is available, irrespective of who manages those assets, says Gartner.

Although IT understands the company's more traditional databases, there are many operational systems run by companies that capture information over which IT has no control.

Although IT departments are good at managing intangible assets, Gartner analyst John Mahoney told delegates at the annual Gartner Symposium in Cannes this week that operational technology (OT) also exists in businesses, and is used to manage very large things. IT is based on a relational database, which is a transactional style of activity, but OT is driven by real-time events, said Mahoney.

Ownership of IT is broadly within the IT department, he said, but many organisations have large numbers of data collection devices that are not part of IT. For instance, a typical petroleum plant has thousands of devices with intelligence. The convergence of IT and OT is about the management of information, Mahoney said.

"An enterprise depends on timely and consistent information," he added. "The CIO and IT organisation are in a unique position. You have a unique perspective on how your enterprise works and therefore you are the natural choice to take this on."

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