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Updated by Charles Bystock on 09/28/2023

Digital transformation has certainly been a source of disruption among technology leaders — and that’s not expected to change any time soon. Digital technology will continue to heavily impact organizations throughout the next decade, but it is the chief information officer (CIO) who will be at the forefront of innovation. Let’s look at three of the most traditionally stoic industries to see how the role of CIO will change in the future.

The new healthcare CIO

Technological advances have influenced virtually every industry and process in some way, which has inherently elevated the role of the CIO to a front-of-house strategy maker. This is especially true in healthcare, where big data, remote sensors, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) are making a big impact on care delivery.

Today, the collaboration between service line business leadership and healthcare CIOs is increasing. Many hospitals now have two technology roles in place — the CIO and the chief digital officer. Typically, the CIO role has the most longevity; although the focus has changed dramatically as IT infrastructures move beyond the hospital server room to embrace cloud models.

Increasingly, hospital and health system CIOs are concerned with data security, as hacker infiltration in outdated on-premise systems continues to flare up. This has driven many CIOs to capitalize on hybrid cloud models. But this is one of many friction points facing today’s healthcare CIO; supply chain, billing, and revenue cycle automation to electronic health record (EHR) optimization, interoperability, and compliance, are on a long list of must-haves for these evolving roles.

The new financial industry CIO

No industry is immune from digital disruption, including the financial field. Financial industry CIOs have had to evolve, embracing massive changes to established practices. These changes have been so significant that Deloitte calls financial industry CIOs “shapeshifters.” The very nature of the financial industry CIO role has changed from just keeping the lights on to true strategy and innovation. Financial organizations are now seeking innovators and CIOs have an opportunity to increase their strategic impact.

The new financial services CIO must encompass traditional IT ecosystem deployment and visionary business building, serving as both engineer and innovator for an evolving industry. New responsibilities are on the horizon for these CIOs, including:

  • Creating business value through cost-cutting with innovation.
  • Change management as companies consider new fintech solutions.
  • Benchmarking successes to demonstrate return on investment.
  • Facilitating relationships with trusted internal stakeholders and external advisors.

Today, financial industry CIOs must fulfill dual business requirements of chief of innovation and IT technologist. These challenges are just a part of the digital transformation occurring in the financial industry.

The new insurance CIO

Just like healthcare and finance, the insurance industry is undergoing a transformational shift in focus. These organizations have felt the impact of start-ups that digitally empower their customers with individualized coverage, not a group risk pool. This is just one of the paradigm shifts leaving insurance industry CIOs scrambling to keep up with everything from mobile applications to the Internet of Things (IoT).

The insurance carriers of the future likely will use blockchain to ensure transactions, artificial intelligence (AI) bots to interact with customers, and machine learning algorithms to write claim summaries. To achieve a competitive advantage, insurance companies must evolve beyond the low price model to digitally empower their customers. CIOs will be at the forefront of a complete industry technological transformation. CIOs in the insurance field must rethink services, workflows, and business models to harness big data, IoT, intelligent automation, telematics, and much more.

The future state of the CIO

The very nature of the CIO’s relationship with the enterprise is changing again. CIOs must use their strategic digital transformation imperative to modernize traditional functions, automate workflows, and create new and more interoperable approaches to IT architectures — all while staying on top of ever-changing mandates for security, compliance, and transparency.

The Windsor Group Sourcing Advisory partners with enterprise CIOs to drive organizational improvement. Contact us today to find out how we can help you on your journey.