Amid the expansion of the consumerization of IT, including the spread of mobile devices and Internet-enabled applications and services, the CIO’s role is becoming more dynamic – and unclear.

The rush of cloud computing options available to individual business units as well as enterprises is changing the role of IT organizations from one that historically had acquired and installed software to an organization that’s now more often responsible for monitoring cloud deployments and overseeing integration with the existing IT ecosystem.

One thing that is certain is that the cloud represents a steep and continuous learning curve for CIOs and their teams. New cloud services are constantly cropping up and existing services are continuously changing. CIOs who are able to accept these changes and adapt to the new normal will continue to bring value to the business and distinguish their importance to the organization.

There are certainly some CIOs who view the cloud as a threat. Not as a potential danger to the enterprise but as a personal threat to themselves and their standing in the organization.

But by and large, most seasoned CIOs who have grown accustomed to adapting to other business and organizational changes throughout their careers have not only acclimated to the presence of the cloud in the enterprise, they’ve also recognized the potential to leverage cloud and XaaS services to help their organizations achieve new levels of agility, efficiency and collaboration. In short, cloud services represent an opportunity for managers and employees to keep up with the pace of business and technological change.

Keeping the “I” in CIO

Let’s not forget, as the Chief Information Officer, the CIO has historically been responsible for the seamless flow of information across the enterprise. But when business leaders contract independently with a SaaS or cloud provider, they risk “disintegrating” the enterprise data management framework, as IBM Managing Director Jeanette Horan recently shared with me.

“You don’t want to jeopardize all of that effort by setting up new information silos,” says Jeanette. “That would be a giant step backwards for the enterprise.”

Of course, there are additional ways that CIOs can bring their technological and business experience to bear with cloud-related efforts. For starters, CIOs can draw on their technical expertise to evaluate cloud providers and determine how/whether different services might fit with the organization’s current applications and IT architecture.

In addition, CIOs who are savvy communicators can articulate the anticipated business impact of specific cloud services to the C-suite.

What are some other ways in which the CIO can bring value to cloud-enabled business and operational strategies? Please join the discussion and share your insights with the HMG Strategy CIO Community.