September 27, 2011 – CIOs are getting pegged with more and more responsibility for a company’s success as technology becomes more and more integral to business operations.

A new report from Deloitte, a global consulting firm, declares the role of the company CIO to be shifting away from being a “steward” responsible for internal maintenance and modernization, and toward that of a “strategist or revolutionary,” where responsibilities on the business side, such as finding new market opportunities and gaining a competitive advantage over peers, take greater precedent.

According to the poll, 45 percent of nearly 1,000 IT executives, including insurance execs, surveyed say their own CIO is viewed as a steward, while another 45 percent say their CIO is a strategist. The remaining 10 percent claim their CIO is a revolutionary.

“Two years ago the goal of the CIO was to cut costs and keep the lights on; they were a steward,” said Suketu Gandhi, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “They protected current assets and worked with available resources. Improvements in the economy and advancements in technology now provide CIOs more tools and resources. These combined technologies give the CIO the opportunity to be an active strategist and decision-maker within their respective organizations. The CIO will increasingly have the ability to actually change how business is conducted.”

The perception of the CIO within a company contrasts survey respondents’ understanding of what IT’s primary contribution to an organization should be. A majority (60 percent) of survey respondents think IT should facilitate growth and productivity — nearly twice as many respondents that believe IT needs to be a competitive advantage (36 percent) for their company.

This story originally appeared on Insurance Networking News.