Take IT as a service, IT governance and maybe some business process execution language, and mix them all together.
The result might just be the CIO 2.0, a new C-level function for managing not just IT, but also business processes. IT as a service is making even the trickier enterprise applications more intuitive, helping users take a business view, albeit supported by technology.
IT governance is pushing the IT department to align with business too, and to get IT to contribute good ideas about how business units can improve their processes and performance. And for CIOs with nostalgia for programming and app development, BPEL could help wean them off hard-core coding. Is this a realistic prospect?
The combination of IT and business process management has already happened in some organisations. They use standardisation, part of current IT thinking, and extend it to business process management.
By removing the aspects that depend on specific people, processes can become more robust. Process actors can become interchangeable, and employee absences no longer have to be sources of interruption. Process management software also exists to help the standardisation process, centralising process details, automatically managing checkpoints and alerts, and providing visibility into status and expected time to complete.
The CIO 2.0 may manage everything as a service as in a public, private or hybrid cloud, and ride above the technology to ensure that information is created and flows easily, efficiently and securely.
Processes underpin each business activity, IT services underpin the processes, and the CIO starts to truly be what the name indicates – Chief Information Officer, rather than Chief IT Officer.
Who knows, perhaps the CIO is destined to become the CIPO, the Chief Information and Process Officer. There will still be a place for IT per se, because some organisations will still have needs that are too special for IT service providers to satisfy. For the others, it may soon be time to leave the processors behind and focus on the processes instead.