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Global telecoms operator Telefónica merged its Chief Technology Officer ( #CTO ) and Chief Information Officer ( #CIO ) roles because of the growing influence of software in networking. That’s according to Brendan O’Rourke, the CIO of the company’s UK arm O2 – and he believes this will become a growing trend. ADVERTISING inRead invented by Teads Earlier this year, @Telefónica announced that its group CIO Phil Jordan would be leaving the organization. He had joined the telecoms company in September 2011 and had global responsibility for IT across the entire group, with 11 local CIOs – including O’Rourke – reporting to him. His impending departure formed part of a corporate reshuffle, with Telefónica stating that it wanted to position itself as a leader in digital transformation in the countries in which it operated. At the time it said: “In the progress towards a platform company, Telefónica continues to simplify its structure, unifying management areas to streamline decision making and execution, reinforcing Telefónica’s technological and innovation capabilities. “In this context, the Remuneration, Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee will propose to the Board that the global chief technology officer (CTO) Enrique Blanco should take responsibility for the systems area, until now led by Phil Jordan, who is leaving the company”. Recommended by Forbes CommunityVoice: Should Your CTO Still Be Coding? CommunityVoice: Tackling The Top 5 Areas Where CIOs Need To Deliver Innovative… CIOs And CTOs Must Understand How The Internet Of Things Is Changing How Business… New Relic’s CIO: Digital Transformation Makes CIO Role More Important MOST POPULAR Photos: The 10 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities +72,259 VIEWS The Mystery Of Wilbur Ross’ Missing Billions MOST POPULAR Photos: The Toughest Jobs To Fill In 2017 MOST POPULAR Job Hoppers: What To Do With Your Old 401(k) According to O’Rourke, the merging of the CTO and CIO roles is a trend within the telecoms space that is likely to catch-on in other industries. “Traditionally, the telco CTO was a person who looked after the network and that’s a very specific role and the CIO was the person who looked after information, data, internal apps and the customer experience,” he says. “But what you’re seeing is that the network is turning into software via software-defined networking and the virtualization of the network. So when you talk about the network platform, you’re starting to talk about a virtual datacenter with software already on it, connected over software-defined networking and delivering the network capability in the core network. “The core network becomes a software-based internet protocol (IP) network,” he adds. This means that the traditional CTO role that was focused on the network is becoming more about the platform. These changes will also impact O’Rourke’s own role in the years to come. “I don’t deal with operations, datacenter and infrastructure as this is part of the CTO role, my role is more around strategy, architecture and innovation and I think [the shift the company made in its group CIO position] is the first step of the inevitable; bringing the CIO and CTO role together and we’ll see that in other industries as well, as it becomes more and more about software,” he states.

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