15 ways the tech executive role will change by 2020

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It's no secret that the technology industry is constantly changing. From which products are used to how executives lead their teams, there's a consistent drive for transformation.

Forbes asked 15 industry executives on its Technology Council to give insight on how the executive role will be different four years from now. Here are their responses.

1. "[Chief technology officers] will move from a 'cost of doing business' model to a 'chief innovation officer' model." Rather than being in a "cost of doing business" or "keep the lights on" role, tech executives will become key innovators.
          –Robert Rice, vice president of infrastructure and IT operations for Irvine, Calif.-based St. Joseph Health

2. "The CTO role will be expanded."  Not only will CTOs need to become more strategic around how products are delivered, but they'll also need to better define the inner workings of the business.
          –David McCann, founder and CTO of Austin, Texas-based CLEAResult

3. "CTOs will look at the human factor." Although the industry is all about technology, CIOs and CTOs can't forget to polish their soft skills, including communication and troubleshooting.
        –Sagi Brody, CTO of Garden City, N.Y.-based Webair

4. "Technology executives will become security leaders." As scandals, breaches and hacks become more common, IT leaders must address the needs of their customers and become leaders in the field of security.
          –Chris Ciabarra, co-founder and CTO of San Francisco-based Revel Systems

5. "They will think more about everything except technology." By 2020, CIOs and CTOs will shift their focus from strictly technology to the customers' and stakeholders' needs.
          –Chalmers Brown, co-founder and CTO of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Due.com

6. "They'll have a more business-minded focus to decision-making." CIOs' importance in the decision-making process will only increase as time goes on, especially due to the unique perspective they bring to the table.
          –Ashley Saddul, founder and CTO of East Framingham, Conn.-based Recruiter.com

7. "Technology leaders will become business process strategists." IT executives will begin to take on more roles, particularly as business technology consultants.
          –Jose Giammattei, founder and operations director at El Salvador-based Applaudo Studios

8. "Information technology executives will elevate their thinking." As the technology industry begins to emphasize knowledge, intelligence, service and process, CIOs and CTOs will have to expand their skill set.
          –Alan Dillman, PhD, partner at Nashville, Tenn.-based Marbaloo Marketing

9. "They'll become core business process enablers." In addition to understanding technology, CTOs and CIOs will have to comprehend an organization's core business processes.
          –Darwin Romero, founder of El Salvador-based Applaudo Studios

10. "They will experiment more." Technology is changing at a pace that's faster than ever before. Industry leaders will have to learn about new trends and understand how changes can present opportunities.
          –Marc Jensen, CTO and managing partner at Minneapolis-based space150

11. "They'll adopt bi-modal approaches." To stay competitive, CIOs and CTOs will have to utilize more than just one approach to conquer challenges and innovate.
          –Marko Lehtimaki, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based AppGyver

12. "They will have to work on multiple fronts." Technology executives will have to use one process to handle new developments and another process to deal with operational facets of their business.
          –Mike Brannan, vice president of technology and marketing at Dayton, Ohio-        based Centric Consulting

13. "They'll become the sherpa." Instead of focusing on low-value tasks such as infrastructure, IT leaders will have to become better versed in dealing with business strategy and innovation tasks. Just as sherpas prepare the way and lead a group of climbers, IT executives have to prepare the next generation for the future and take the lead on innvoation. If they "don't get out ahead and be the sherpa, the business will."
          –Tim Young, director of technology at White River Junction, Vt.-based Resource Systems Group

14. "CXO roles will include technology knowledge." Technology will no longer be an independent field — it'll be incorporated in the tasks of all C-suite executives.
          –Erik Gustavson, co-founder and CTO of Los Angeles-based Bitium

15. "Their security role will increase in importance." Due to the influx of data breaches, the significance of IT security is moving to the forefront. Therefore, the role of tech industry executives will also become more significant for a successful business.
          –Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Malwarebytes

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