The role of the CIO is much different now than it has been in the past. Laura Hazard Owen wrote on GigaOM that smartphones and mobile devices mean there is much less control for IT professionals now than there ever has been, but panelists at the recent Structure: Europe 2013 event said this could be a positive thing. With cloud based services and tools like mobile device management, organizations can still see benefits from having a strong IT side.

"The ones that are still fighting the battle … and a different type," according to Simon Short, CTO and head of digital at Capgemini. "[These professionals think the job is] about enablement…If you enable, then you also retain control because you're seen as a service provider."

Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute said instead of retrenching the fight against mobile, CIOs need to define what is necessary for them to control, something he likens to becoming a "mini service provider." The bring your own device trend is an opportunity to CIOs to try to take back control of data and give employees more control of their own work.

CIO quoted Bryan Taylor, research director at Gartner, who said by 2015 this role for CIOs will likely grow more obvious, as many workers will be forced as part of company protocol to bring their own devices to work. Getting control now should make the coming shifts much easier for CIOs.