A new career path opens for IT executives. There are two kinds of CIOs: those who are expected to focus on creating strategy, and those who leave strategy to other executives and focus instead on operations, processes and implementation.
The latter will increasingly report to COOs or other senior operations executives. That's not a devaluation of the CIO's job, but a reflection of the importance of IT in the day-to-day running of a business and in business process improvement. This move makes it much more likely that today's CIOs will become the COOs of tomorrow.