As technology continues to evolve and become more complex, its role in business also continues to expand. This is particularly true when it comes to IT process automation. As more and more organizations are adopting ITPA, the need for dedicated leadership in that area is also increasing. Does your company need a Chief Automation Officer (CAO), or can you get away with traditional IT leadership roles? Let’s take a look.
In years past, and currently to a large degree, CEOs have relied mainly on the CIO and/or CTO to manage all aspects of IT for the entire business. These individuals were tasked with managing the day to day operations as well as forecasting and planning for future IT needs, particularly in terms of security. As digital innovation continues to grow and evolve, however, many of these traditional leaders are finding it challenging to handle the increased responsibilities. There simply isn’t enough time or resources.
Enter the CAO, a role that has been developed specifically to meet the increasing demands for automation in the workplace. This individual’s main responsibility is to oversee the implementation and ongoing management of IT process automation as a whole. This frees up the CIO and/or CTO to focus on developing and implementing new strategies and IT processes, which will ultimately be automated under the direction of the CAO.
With digital revenue expected to double over the next five years (according to Gartner), businesses will continue to adopt more digital practices. IT process automation will no longer be a nice extra or additional option, but rather an integral part of the organization’s infrastructure management process. As this takes place, it is highly likely that the role of the CAO will become more commonplace, eventually ranking up there with the rise of other C-level titles, like that of Chief Digital Officer.
Another reason the CAO role will likely become more prominent is the ever-increasing number of cyber security incidents occurring on an almost daily basis. It seems like every evening news broadcast includes a report of some type of major security breach, putting sensitive data at risk and damaging reputations at the same time. As businesses begin to recognize the role automation can play in cyber security incident response, the need for dedicated leadership in that area will also increase.
So, while there may not be thousands of job openings for CAOs at the present time, it’s a logical progression to assume that this will change over the next five years. And while your organization may not quite be ready to take on this new role, the one area you must focus on now is the adoption of IT process automation.