CIO-as-a-Service, a new era in IT organisational management

Chris Daffy, Chief Commercial Officer of MobileData.

Chris Daffy, Chief Commercial Officer of MobileData.
Chris Daffy, Chief Commercial Officer of MobileData.

In a market dominated by increasing interest in just about ‘everything-as-a-service’, the role of the CIO has attracted the spotlight and the relevance of CIO-as-a-Service has come to the fore in South Africa, says Chris Daffy, Chief Commercial Officer of MobileData.

Daffy believes CIO-as-a-Service will certainly take off in South Africa and follows on from the trend of CFO and various Sales & Marketing positions already successfully offering ‘as-a-service’ models.

“CIO should be a strategic visionary not a glorified IT guy with a cool title. Ostensibly this is just the new term for ‘consultant’. The economic climate is one of revenue pressures with deterioration and naturally brings about massive cost pressures that all roles that can be part time will be. The current political climate is fanning the flames,” says Daffy,

Although MobileData is aware of some companies using various roles ‘as-a-service’, and the company suggests that it makes sense that this will be a natural progression.

And this is boosted by benefits like cost saving and a highly skilled resource available, as opposed to an affordable permanent IT manager.

“CIO’s can produce the strategy and vision that then can be actioned by outsourcing or cheaper internal resources. If you use a CIO as a service you get the learnings the CIO gleans form the other organisations they offer their services,” Daffy adds.

As far as the CIO is concerned, offering their skills and services ‘as-a-service’ makes sense given the current economic climate and scarcity of permanent roles. As MobileData explains this can lead to higher earnings and, of course, the self-evident risk.

Some would argue that CIO-as-a-Service is just a fleeting concept and will disappear as quickly as it emerged, and that it is unlikely to establish itself in the tough South African market.

Not so says Daffy and management at MobileData – they say globalisation and digital transformation will ensure that South Africa will follow the trend, one that is here to stay and likely to take root across a growing number of companies and organisations.

“The role of the CIO has changed… there is no doubt about that, but the heightened interest in ‘as-a-service’ business models means that this role is a lot broader and of much more relevance and potential value to business than has been the case. Decision makers need to take cognisance of this,” Daffy explains.

By Chris Daffy, Chief Commercial Officer of MobileData.