Gartner outlines six money-making CIO profiles

A new generation of CIOs with skills to make the business money will replace traditional CIOs by the middle of the decade, says Gartner vice-president and researcher Ken McGee.

A new generation of CIOs with skills to make the business money will replace traditional CIOs by the middle of the decade, says Gartner vice-president and researcher Ken McGee.

The analyst predicts the emergence of six new types of money-generating CIOs:

  1. The entrepreneurial CIO
  2. The cost optimisation CIO
  3. The revenue-creating CIO
  4. The business innovation CIO
  5. The business development CIO
  6. The public-serving CIO


1. The entrepreneurial CIO - This model will involve the CIO being responsible for generating sales from, for example, intellectual property the staff may have initially developed for internal purposes only, but whose revenue-generating potential via external sales will be far too compelling to ignore. Such CIOs will still have the responsibility of overseeing traditional IT planning, design, implementation and operations.

2. The cost-optimisation CIO - These CIOs consistently help enterprises to reach or surpass quarterly earnings targets by their continued use of superlative IT procurement, operations and decommissioning methods.

3. The revenue-creating CIO - This type of CIO will identify and guide enterprises toward exploiting IT technologies, products and services that will measurably increase enterprise revenue.

4. The business innovation CIO - A CIO adopting this style of leadership will actually place IT staff members within the product or service development areas of the enterprise.

5. The business development CIO - Perhaps the most controversial style, this will completely transfer all IT operational responsibilities to another senior enterprise executive (for example, the COO). Similar to a cross between a building architectural firm and a construction general contractor, these CIOs will retain and enhance their IT-business planning, designing and implementation responsibilities. Over a short period of time, such a CIO will cease reporting directly to a CFO and begin reporting directly to a head of business development.

6. The public-serving CIO - The opportunities to become a money-making CIO are not restricted to the private sector. Public-sector money-making CIOs will capitalise on the time value of money by significantly shortening each tax-receipt-related government process with the public.

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