September 27th, 2011 Author: Claire Holmes
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A key question for CIOs is how much time, or resource, can you afford to allocate to thinking about the future? As we begin to address that concern, a number of supplementary questions begin to emerge:

• Do you have a team, or individual, dedicated to the task?
• Do you need to place more focus on contemporary concerns?
• Are there just too many legacy or operational issues?
• Should a CIO be more pragmatic or visionary, or a balance of both?
• Is the future of work debate not yet truly compelling?

It is crucial to remember that the future is never far away. If you think about the technological developments of the last 20 years, we have come a long way in a very short period of time. What such contracting of time means is that time-planning horizons are far shorter.

The time it takes for a new device, piece of software or a cloud service to take off is reducing and it seems like there is something new for CIOs to consider every week. As a busy CIO that is planning the strategy of your organisation, whilst managing the day to day needs and issues of your department, do you have time to think about the future?

Do time constraints, instead, force you to focus on contemporary concerns, achieving today’s business objectives and keeping your organisation fit to fight another day?

And if you fail to dedicate time and resource – whether that is individually or as a team – to understanding tomorrow’s concerns, are you going to be able to keep your organisation at the forefront of your industry?

So, what should the future CIO be – pragmatic, visionary or a mixture of both? Do you think that the future of work debate is compelling – have we been through bigger changes in the past?

And by failing to consider the future of work, the impact of consumerisation, the global talent shortage and the changing role of IT, could you and your organisation get left behind?

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