The 50 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) who refuse to embrace the cloud are unlikely to still be IT bosses in five years’ time, one expert has claimed.

In an interview with zdnet.com, Zach Nelson, the CEO of American software firm NetSuite, said that most companies looking to replace legacy systems towards the end of this decade will naturally be looking at cloud-only providers, even if they’re not completely comfortable with the idea.

Nelson also foresees a shift in opinion among many cloud-wary CIOs. “I think the perception of most doubters, who are still wedded to their servers, will change.” He said. “Part of the reason such perceptions might change is because on-demand creates more possibilities than an on-premise system.”

He goes on to talk about how the cloud allows IT departments to be more agile, and that new services can be provided quickly for customers.

Elsewhere in the interview, the theme switches to the role of the CIO in tomorrow’s digital enterprise, and Nelson’s belief that CIOs will begin to take on some of the chief marketing officer’s (CMO) responsibilities.

This is despite the commonly held belief that a shift in the opposite direction would occur, with CMOs becoming more tech-savvy.