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"There are those CIOs who seek to align IT with the business. Then there are those who make IT an inextricable part of the business by creating or fostering projects that become vital revenue generators." (Searchcio) 

In my 15 years of working in IT the perception of IT has changed gradually from being a cost centre to one that can help drive change & revenue. I assume there was an even bigger change between 1980-1998, back in those days most cobol programmers looked like a homo erectus from before the ice age.....long beard, thick glasses, and they would hide in the basement mumbling to themselves some strange computer language.......since then we have seen a massive transformation of IT departments...they can communicate, they look human, they can articulate ideas and execute on them and the perception has definitely improved over the past decade.   

Various areas I know of success stories from CIO's with generating revenue has been with the development of mobile apps, selling valuable data analytics to third parties, and delivered e-commerce features to clients. Overall I still think it will take many years before IT moves away from being seen as an overhead & cost centre function, but with the younger generation and appetite for technology it is a trend that looks set to continue for IT....... 

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