Google Cloud CEO on the evolution of the CIO role

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian says the role of the chief information officer has changed materially as technology has become a central part to running a business, The Wall Street Journal reported April 25.

Mr. Kurian, who has been CEO of Google Cloud since 2019, said CEOs view technology as a differentiator and look to the CIOs for expertise. 

Here are three changes regarding the CIO role, per Mr. Kurian:

  1. CIOs are not just managing a portfolio of applications, they are now in charge of building competency in software engineering, in areas like cybersecurity.
     
  2. CEOs see that being a technology-enabled organization requires them to have some core competencies, and one of them is software development. And so CEOs now see CIOs also needing to build that long-term core competency and people capability.

  3. There are now three styles of CIOs: Core CIOs, which have the central IT responsibility. They work with CEOs in adopting technology, in portfolio management and in enabling software development skills. Second is the CIO who is increasingly also the CDO, the chief data officer. Third is the CIO who is also given the title of chief transformation officer.

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