Disruptive Technologies: The Changing Role of the CIO

Disruptive Technologies: The Changing Role of the CIO

Today’s CIOs are standing at a crossroads. Disruptive technologies are changing the landscape with “Big Data,” “Cloud Computing,” “Elastic Cloud” and many others. Disruptive innovations are pervasive throughout history: Automobiles, Telephones, Email, Smartphones, Tablets and Cloud Computing.

The term disruptive technologies was coined by Clayton M. Christensen and introduced in his 1995 article Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave. Christensen replaced the term disruptive technology with disruptive innovation because he recognized that few technologies are intrinsically disruptive or sustaining in character; rather, it is the business model that the technology enables that creates the disruptive impact. The concept of disruptive technology continues a long tradition of the identification of radical technical change in the study of innovation by economists, and the development of tools for its management at a firm or policy level.

CIOs have had to transform themselves and their departments from IT procurement and managers of hardware, operating systems, databases, middleware, application servers and software to leaders of change. Less and less they are no longer assembling thousands of pieces of complex technologies trying to make the pieces work together and keep them running. With the availability of cloud applications, IT departments no longer need teams of people to manage infrastructure. The new CIO is an internal business partner helping their C-level peers and CEO navigate the rapidly changing technology landscape and select the best software for the business process. As everyone in the C-level suite adapts and navigates the ever-changing technology landscape, it is now more important than ever for CIOs to be business partners and supportive agents of change.

In Human Resources, technology is still very fragmented often with separate systems for HR, Payroll, Talent Management, and Recruiting. Many on-premise in-house HRMS implementations are more than seven years old – an eternity in the technology world – and have not kept pace with innovations. Legacy HR systems have been “online” long before social media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter were founded in 2004, 2003, 2006, respectively) has taken the world by storm and long before millennials entered the workforce.

New HR Software Systems—Organizations are taking advantage of a whole new generation of cloud based software systems which provide rich data and serve as a “system of engagement,” not just a “system of record.” Cloud based HR systems integrate payroll, HRMS, talent management and analytics processing into a single cloud based service. The replacement of the licensed HRMS market with cloud solutions may take many years; but more and more companies now see the value, and success stories are becoming widespread.” Bersin by Deloitte: “Predictions for 2013” by Josh Bersin.

The “new” CIO will partner with HR to select the best, cloud based, unified, organically developed, complete Human Resource platform that will keep pace with the new generation of the workforce.

Written by Erik Marsh