CIO role becoming a strategic one

Technology is becoming an integral piece of healthcare organizations, but many CIOs are still trying to feel out their place in the board room.

Many CIOs do not feel as though their companies treat them like strategic partners, according to a February report from McKinsey & Company. Many CFOs are also reluctant to hand purchasing power to CIOs, according to a report from Federal News Radio. Kaveh Safavi, MD, the manager of global consulting firm Accenture's healthcare business, said many CIOs are still transitioning from managers to executives.

"You're starting to see this shift when the CIO or the CTO's reporting relationship moves from the CFO to the CEO," Dr. Safavi said. "Historically, their role in the board room depends on whether they see themselves deriving strategy or executing the technology in general. I do believe that that question is going to result in a different type of CIO."

Dr. Safavi said the IT landscape has changed so much in the last few years that the breadth of the conversation has become an important part of companies' conversations. Technology has become a part of the whole business rather than just a department, so the attitude among healthcare organizations is beginning to shift.

"Technology is not an expense," Dr. Safavi said. "Technology is a means of production."

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