The Role of the Modern-day CIO in the Data Economy

Rama took the stage during the ConnectGov Leaders Summit held in Edinburgh, Scotland last year, for a fireside chat on the first day with Ravinder Singh (Ravi), Chief Information and Innovation Officer, Tata Singapore Airlines (Air Vistara), to reflect on role of the modern day CIO in the data economy.

Key Takeaways

  • Reflecting on the role of CIOs, 3 parameters apply according to whom they report to, whether they assume P+L responsibilities, and whether they are deemed market creators.
  • Market making or creating describes a very different role compared to ‘keeping the lights on’ functions of traditional CIOs.
  • The most powerful CIOs are essentially procurement officers who built reputations on negotiating contracts, saving costs and operational management, whereas a shift to perceiving CIOs as leaders will require them to be leading from the front and be market makers, creating platforms to drive revenue.
  • Most CIOs and especially Asian CIOs are content with not making the transformational shift to becoming market makers or aspiring to become CEOs. He cited studies by the likes of Gartner or HBR on the very small percentage of CIOs that are breaking the mould in this regard.


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