Is the CIO doomed to extinction?

A recent survey of British corporate finance officers suggested the chief information officer position would disappear from the business landscape in the next five years - or at least be transformed beyond recognition.

CFOworld reports that seventeen percent of CFO respondents to a Getronics UK poll said that the role of CIO would likely not exist in corporate environments within the next half decade, while another 34 percent claimed the CIO’s role will eventually be "subsumed within finance."

Given that this was a survey of corporate CFOs, and British corporate CFOs to boot, not CFOs at healthcare organizations, can we read anything into the results about the future of CIOs at U.S. healthcare facilities?

Perhaps not much, although the results are interesting in that they indicate how many enterprise-wide IT decisions, once the realm of the CIO, are being made by CFOs. Seventy-seven percent of CFOs and financial directors surveyed said they already have assumed greater responsibility for IT decisions over the past two years. Another 31 percent believe those in a CIO role will hail from a non-technical background in the future.

Anecdotally, many hospital-based CFOs have told me in recent years that there would be increasing integration between the finance and IT/IS departments in the future, with finance taking the lead.

What are your thoughts on the status of CIO/CFO relations, and departmental integration, at U.S. hospitals?

Richard Pizzi is the editorial director at MedTech Media, the publisher of Healthcare IT News and Healthcare Finance News. Follow him on Twitter @HFNeditor.