The five IT roles your business will need in 2015

Steve Evans

Wednesday 22 October 2014

The change of pace in the IT world can seem bewildering at times. However, CIOs looking keep up with these exciting changes and take advantage of them should get the right expertise in their IT department now.

1. Chief data officer

Data is everywhere, and the amount of data being created is growing all the time. A recent BBCarticle claims that 90 per cent of all the data in the world has been created over the last few years. Big data, of course, is one of the major buzzwords in the technology world right now.

Businesses must make sure they are capturing data relevant to their company, whether it’s from CRM, social networks or general online chatter. Having said that, capturing that data is only half the battle – analysing it to get the most relevant and useful information related to your business is really the key.

2. Chief social officer

This is a job description that is closely related to the chief data officer, but one that fully deserves its own role, as it also contains elements of marketing. Social is now fully ingrained across the enterprise – it’s how companies market themselves and it’s often the first stop when customers have complaints.

Social elements are often siloed within a business; departments tend to do it themselves. That’s why having a chief social officer to tie all social initiatives together is so important. It ensures standardisation of the social technology used across the business, as well as making sure that the right data is collected and used.

3. Chief security officer

You may not think this is a new role, but the job of chief security officer has evolved massively over the last few years. That’s because the threats to businesses have evolved, as have the channels used to launch attacks. Targeted attacks, data theft, threats from social networks and the need to protect mobile devices are just a small number of the threats businesses face every day. Threats are no longer coming from kids that hack because they can. Instead, huge groups of cyber-criminals, backed by large sums of money, are launching more and more sophisticated attacks.

The increased usage of cloud computing and mobile devices within businesses have also contributed to the changing security landscape. That’s why it’s important to have one person in overall charge of security – someone who can create a joint approach to protecting digital and physical assets.

4. Chief mobility officer

This is another role that has been around for a while but needs to change to keep up with today’s enterprises. It’s no longer about configuring business-owned laptops to hand out to workers; BYOD has changed the mobile landscape across the business world and employees are now using their own smartphones, laptops and tablets to do their jobs.

This means the role of chief mobility officer has become that of an enabler – one who ensures that connectivity and applications are in place to help mobile workers. It’s also about ensuring that rules, regulations and policies are in place governing the use of mobile devices, so that, for example, security of mobile data is approached in the same way as on-premises. Think of it as a centralised point for an enterprise mobility strategy.

5. Chief technology innovation officer

The best way to ensure your business stays on top of what’s going on in the technology world is to hire someone whose sole focus is emerging technologies. It will be the role of chief technology innovation officer (CTIO) to seek out new technologies, establish whether they could benefit the business and work out the best strategy for implementation.

The key to being a successful CTIO is to work across multiple departments within an organisation, identifying areas where improvements are needed and which emerging technologies could help.

Hiring the right people for these roles will help your business tackle the ever-changing IT landscape. One of the keys to future-proofing your business is to get IT to work together. The social and data officers, for example, can work out how to get the best information from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, while the security officer can and should work with all departments to ensure total protection of the company’s most valuable assets.