Based on the results of a recent study by Getronics UK, your days as a separate, senior organizational title and position may well be numbered.
It's not that long ago - 1986, according to IBM - that the Chief Information Officer title was introduced into the C-suite of organizations worldwide.
And that made sense. Because by the mid-1980s, organizations of every size and scope knew that technology was going to be a make-or-break for their success. That made it reasonable that a dedicated position be established to strategize and monitor the technology needs of the enterprise.
Interestingly, because IT was (and is) such a high value, high cost item for the organization, before being separated out, the function most often resided in the Finance Department.
That didn't make Finance Directors and CFOs knowledgeable about IT. It just gave them the responsibility.
Fast forward to 2012 and you have a completely different technological landscape - with even greater tectonic movement coming as a result of the cloud. That change includes a justifiable return to the pre-CIO days.
After all, if IT in all its forms is so deeply integrated into everything the company does - and if so much of what is being done is occurring in the cloud (think Google Docs and Dropbox as well as Skype and Google Chat) - then it doesn't make sense to treat IT as if it is something separate and apart.
And that's what Finance Directors and CFOs told the folks at Getronics in their survey. And that puts the CIO position at risk.
Unless, of course, CIOs heed the call of former IBM Chairman and CEO, Sam Palmisano. In 2006 he issued a challenge at the first IBM CIO Leadership Forum. He said:
This is your moment - one of those moments that doesn't come along very often - when you have an opportunity to enhance your standing, influence and contribution to the enterprise. Or, the role could be marginalized.
To offset that latter possibility, his challenge to them was that they no longer think of themselves or act as Chief Information Officers. Instead, they should be the "chief innovation officer" of their organizations.
And that, too, is in keeping with the Getronics results - because unless CIOs change their roles and responsibilities to reflect the new and emerging technological, strategic and operational landscape, the CFOs and FDs are more than ready to step in and bring IT full circle...and right back into the Finance function.