VP of IT and other IT Job Titles – What’s in a Name

By , Wednesday, February 22nd 2023

Categories: Analyst Blogs

There is a job title recently pointed out to me for IT organizations that I was unfamiliar with: VP of Enterprise and Data Architecture. There is dissonance if this is looked at literally. Rather than examine the specifics of this job title, it is interesting to take a step back and look at the titles I encounter regularly in organizations in the Information Technology industry. First of all, let me say that I am impressed with the people – they are dedicated, very smart, and usually overworked. But the titles are always something interesting. Certainly, the question is why are there so many different IT job titles? And it’s not limited to the VP level but those are the ones that I think are most interesting to look at.

From observation, which includes meetings and strategy projects, I would posit that the different IT job titles used to reflect an organization’s efforts in evolving or transforming their operation. Using a title to indicate the initiative or seriousness of the commitment to a direction is a common practice. Whether it is meaningful to staff is a different discussion. Still, there is value in understanding what the titles indicate.

New Strategies and New Roles

Much of the effort in IT organizations currently is expended in transforming the operations, primarily in becoming proficient in multi-cloud operations. Unfortunately, defining what are ‘multi-cloud operations’ varies widely depending on circumstances and individual perspectives. In general, there are three groupings of what this means for most cases:

-Changing/optimizing operations for some on-premises applications and some public cloud-based operations including both applications to run in the public cloud and SaaS applications on public clouds is a major challenge for most IT operations. The difficulties of operating infrastructure on-premises (private cloud to some) and ‘infrastructure’ (cloud resources) on multiple public clouds are topics of many discussions and vendor offerings and roadmaps to simplify for their customers. This is a developing area that will see many advances. IT job titles such as VP of Cloud Architecture, VP of IT Infrastructure, VP of Enterprise Architecture make sense. There are others but this should give an idea of the relationship between title and what the organization is doing.

-Transition to public cloud operations exclusively may have similar titles. However, given the current flailing of organizations in moving to public cloud versus bounding the strategy to new operations being delivered in the public cloud, there may be a transition in the offing for those with job titles such as VP of Cloud Operations, VP of Cloud Computing, etc. While not necessarily an indicator, these job titles can be a starting point when determining what is the executive direction for information processing.

-Another area that has been disruptive for IT resulting in new responsibilities and associated IT job titles is the responsibility for analytics including AI/ML by IT organizations. Usually developed outside the IT organization, responsibilities for deploying, operating, and making these initiatives successful are significant – crossing many boundaries inside of IT and usually resulting in a new title for the person responsible. Massive storage and compute requirements, new terminology to go along with new operational procedures, and new development processes require complicated solutions and support structure, not to mention the education needed. Consequently, notable responsibilities are represented with titles such as VP of Data Analytics, VP of Advanced Technology, and so on.

It should be clear that IT job titles are generally inconsistent, save for CIO. The variations almost always indicate a direction or strategy for the organization. It is also clear that job titles, like strategies, change over time. So, what is in a name? Quite a bit of information in this case.

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More insights from Evaluator Group:

Next Generation Computing Architectures.. Why Now? 

Data Management in a Multi-Cloud World

Disclosure: Evaluator Group, wholly owned by The Futurum Group, is a research and analyst firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article. Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually.

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