No. 4: The CIO will soon be obsolete or indispensable
Binary Thinking: Computing and communication technologies are becoming commodities which means that specialist IT skills and all of the management structures around them will no longer be needed. General managers can satisfy their IT needs from the consumer market place in the same way they can get their home PCs and mobile phones. Unfortunately, in the not too distant future, the performance of any organisation will depend on how they use information, other sources of competitive advantage will cease to be important and only CIOs and other IT leaders will be qualified to lead enterprises.
Portfolio Insight: The behaviour of large systems (of people, investments or other components, not just IT) exhibit patterns which can bear little relation to the behaviour of their constituent elements. Just because IT components can be easily substituted commodities it does not mean that the large, integrated IT architectures which enterprises need are also commodities. Financial services, where commodity equities or consumer loans have been assembled into more complex products, have given us all a painful analogy to use. Enterprises will continue to need a leadership team who can focus on different aspects of their system (for example, money, people, technology or IT services) and work together to achieve the best results possible.
Related post: The future of the CIO