The role of the modern CIO is changing. No longer simply focused on key IT infrastructure, the new CIO is concerned with corporate data, the convergence of business requirements, and available marketplace technologies.

Faced with a flood of new technology and managed services residing outside the walls of the enterprise, today’s CIO is taking on a more substantial role in strategic vendor management. The days of large internal IT groups with application developers on hand have passed, as most organizations opt for leveraging a best-of-breed combination of external vendors. To support this change, CIOs are building teams of business-literate liaisons to work closely with corporate stakeholders to match business needs with evolving marketplace technologies. The CIO is building a fabric of solutions, focusing on the enterprise data layer that enables accurate and timely data to flow to executives and key stakeholders in order to support faster and better decision making. To fully commit to this wave of change, the CIO has become engrossed in mobile technologies, supporting the overall shift to a more portable workforce.

To succeed in this new position, the CIO must be adept at matching strategic IT guidance—knowledge of trends and emerging technologies—with an understanding of key business processes. The business no longer throws requirements over the wall to IT for custom code development; rather, the new process is increasingly iterative. IT and the business are now closely linked from the outset to identify and respond to business change, as analysts from both sides work together to apply user-configurable technologies, convert data, train users on enhanced processes, and perform systems administration functions while focusing on dashboards and other ways to simplify information consumption.

In what other ways is the role of the CIO changing? We’d like to hear from you about the evolution of this critical role. Share your comments below.