The transformational CIO: a customer-centric visionary

How CIOs must shift their focus toward systems that support their organisation’s ability to win, serve and retain customers

With digital technologies continuing to create disruption in the enterprise, CEOs require a partner on the C-suite that can combine technology expertise with business skills to successfully navigate the change.

Indeed, in today’s marketplace, CIOs are no longer just responsible for “keeping the lights on”, they play a pivotal role in making the company successful and driving the use of new technologies in a way that adds value to the business.

Gone are the days where CIOs had to manage the day-to-day processes of transactional systems that record everything but provide the business with little operational value.

Consumer technology has worked its way into the enterprise, which means that today’s CIO needs to manage on-premises systems and infrastructure, as well as cloud-based systems.

In addition, they need to deal with structured data coming from sources such as spreadsheets and databases, alongside unstructured data being generated from channels like email and social media.

Ultimately, it translates into dealing with the consumer-grade offerings often favoured by users, but still applying the enterprise-grade security required by customers, regulators and shareholders.

Fundamentally, the end-user’s priority is simplicity and ease – which employees tend to favour over data classification processes or regulatory compliance.

However, mismanaged information across an organsation can cost the enterprise millions of pounds in costs associated with litigation and compliance.

Increasingly, CIOs are assuming more responsibility for massive volumes of enterprise information and the systems that house the data. Yet, with this responsibility comes the key challenges of data governance, information security and authenticated access.

As such, today’s CIOs are responsible for keeping information processes simple but secure and compliant – and at the same time having to unlock the unrealised business potential that IT can enable.

Digital governance

It is therefore no surprise that research from analyst firm IDG shows that, according to 140 technology leaders, an enterprise information management (EIM) strategy should be a top priority for CIOs and IT business executives.

Indeed, CIOs need to be responsible for implementing the best effective digital governance frameworks across the business, in order to ensure that information is secure and managed correctly.

While the role of information management is undeniably paramount, many CIOs struggle knowing where to start.

Digital technologies stretch across every facet of a business, and organisations have rapidly growing amounts of information to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

At the same time, it’s becoming even more crucial that people within the business have quick and secure access to the information available, whenever it is need.

To solve this challenge, CIOs need to combine information management platforms with digital governance frameworks to secure the flow of information throughout the business but also provide a platform for digital transformation.

For many organisations, the CIOs ability to effectively drive digital transformation will ultimately decide whether the company remains competitive or not.

 Next wave of transformation

The role of the CIO is continuing to evolve and is centred around embracing disruptive technologies to truly deliver on the operational excellence and business enablement that new technology affords.

The pace of change is not relinquishing, and the next ten years are shaping up to be just as disruptive as the last.

Embracing the next round of disruptive IT will require more dramatic changes to internal operations and customer relations.

With products and services becoming increasingly commoditised, using technology to deliver business benefits will become the key differentiator for enterprises looking to get ahead.

This is where the transformational CIO has an opportunity to lead the way. CIOs that adopt this approach will be able to create IT infrastructures that improve the quality of products and services provided, whilst simultaneously driving efficiencies and cost reductions.

Source: The transformational CIO: a customer-centric visionary by Ben Ross

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