21 items tagged "CIO"

  • 7 competences to develop to become a successful CIO

    7 competences to develop to become a successful CIO

    The days when CIOs could glide into a long-term career based solely on their technical abilities are rapidly fading.

    “It’s no longer enough for IT leaders to be tech experts,” warns Bob Hersch, a principal at Deloitte Consulting. The best-in-class CIOs of today are also business savvy, using their knowledge to embed IT as a service capability.

    “This business-centric approach integrates IT into an overall business strategy,” he adds.

    The best way any IT leader can augment his or her current technical knowledge — and strengthen their long-term career prospects — is by committing to developing the following seven essential business competences.

    1. An entrepreneurial mindset

    CIOs, regardless of their organization’s size, have to act like entrepreneurs, operating with speed, agility, and ever higher levels of passion, empathy, and creativity, advises Ram Nagappan, CIO at global investment firm BNY Mellon Pershing.

    Disruption is the new constant. “Competition is coming from all corners of the market, with fintechs and startups moving at light speed,” Nagappan says. To meet competition head on, CIOs must think like entrepreneurs and act as agents of change. “They need to constantly think about how their business could be disrupted at any point in time and how they can creatively deploy technology to get ahead of potential disruptors and future-proof the business,” he suggests.

    2. Strong leadership skills

    Leadership is a core competency that paves the way to successful technology transformation. “To truly lead, you must have business acumen in addition to technical understanding,” explains Richard Cox, CIO at media conglomerate Cox Enterprises. “Our jobs are really to leverage technology to unleash the potential of the business, and you simply have to have an understanding of the business landscape in order to exploit these opportunities.”

    Leadership is a combination of internal and external engagement. The problems CIOs face today are growing increasingly complex. The future is ambiguous, and answers are often not clear or simple. “The only way to navigate in... these uncharted waters, is to build an environment that allows people to bring ideas, perspectives, and input to solve problems,” Cox says. “Building teams that create aligned empowerment is more important today than ever.”

    Poor IT leaders often make the mistake of setting project plans, gate reviews, and delivery dates without educating the IT team on the who, what, when, and why of how the effort will help the enterprise, says Harley Bledsoe, CIO at BBB National Programs, a nonprofit organization that oversees more than a dozen industry self-regulation programs that sets standards for business advertising and privacy practices.

    “Bringing the team along on the journey as they execute on their deliverables is critical to developing an effective solution,” he explains.

    3. A consumer-oriented focus

    Technology has never been more powerful and accessible. Most employees — technical and non-technical — now have easy access to an array of sophistcated device, software, and network tools. CIOs need to ensure that workplace and work-at-home technologies at least keep pace with consumer products and services. Employees will quickly get frustrated if enterprise technology and services are more difficult to use than their home counterparts, Hersch warns. “When IT is perceived as an obstacle, the entire department is at risk,” he says.

    Shadow IT typically emerges when enterprise employees become dissatisfied with IT-provided tools. “These alternative IT capabilities diminish the CIO and IT’s role,” Hersch explains. “Over time, this can create the perception that the central IT department is an expensive and expendable infrastructure that doesn’t enable the organization for growth.”

    4. Financial acuity

    Once a CIO recognizes and understands the various factors that influence their enterprise’s finances, they can more accurately pinpoint the technology investments that promise to make the greatest impact.

    “It’s extremely likely technology can help solve any major problems or expand upon new opportunities,” says Martin Christopher, CIO of insurance provider CUNA Mutual Group. “It may be in accessing data for analytics, accelerating products to market, growing or optimizing channels, or [providing] automation and AI for better customer experiences, but inevitably there are tangible ways technology can help.”

    Christopher recommends spending time working with the enterprise finance planning and analysis (FP&A) team. “Too often, CIOs limit their focus to their own budgets and may only have a general sense of what’s causing changes to the company’s quarterly performance,” he says. “Your FP&A teams will often have the best sense of what’s happening ‘below the waterline,’ which could lead to a larger impact on company performance, positive or negative.”

    Christopher adds that business unit leaders will generally be grateful to see the CIO’s interest in what makes their business tick and how technology can help accelerate delivery of their objectives.

    For CIOs working for a regulated industry firm, such as insurance or financial services, Christopher suggests spending time with the organization’s governance, risk, and assurance (GRA) team.

    “CIOs who misunderstand the frame of external requirements their company operates within will find it difficult to honor commitments to their business partners,” he says. CIOs who aren’t fully informed on regulatory issues may also inadvertently discourage creative thinking, subconsciously fearing that the innovation may, in some way, violate a regulatory mandate.

    Bill VanCuren, senior vice president and CIO at NCR, believes that IT leaders should possess at least some formal accounting and finance education. Even more important, he adds, is maintaining a close working collaboration with the CFO team to review costs and other key financial issues.

    “You should also facilitate formal benchmarking of your IT costs and benefit tracking for comparison to best practices both within your industry and more broadly,” he recommends. “I personally participate in business case reviews to stay current on where IT investments are being positioned across the company.”

    5. Strategic thinking

    IT leaders should never stop refining their strategic reasoning abilities skills. “CIOs need to envision the future state of their business, spearhead strategies that create new products and business models, and influence change,” says Thomas Phelps, CIO at Laserfiche, an enterprise content management technology provider, and an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. “To do this, you need a deep understanding of your business, your industry, and be willing to try bold new ideas.”

    CIOs are increasingly expected to stay ahead of existing and emerging technologies and evaluate them within the context of business goals. “They have to work more closely than ever with the CEO and every business line within the company,” BNY Mellon Pershing’s Nagappan says. “They must bring to the table their business knowledge as well as the creativity needed to deploy technology to advance business goals, and to deliver a seamless, superior client experience and greater efficiency.”

    6. A technologist’s mindset

    A technician has a basic knowledge of general technology principles and applications. A technologist, on the other hand, is someone who’s fully aware of current and emerging technologies and their impact on business operations and services.

    “It’s more than understanding technology — it’s also truly understanding business,” says Alicia Johnson, consulting principal of technology transformation at professional services firm Ernst & Young.

    A successful CIO must be able to set an enterprise’s IT direction while planning for future expansion. “To do this, they need to be transparent, exhibit strong communication skills, partner with other business units, develop a reliable team, and demonstrate a vision for the business,” Johnson explains.

    A major challenge for CIOs is knowing how to do more with less, particularly when planning budgets. “If a CIO can think logically about the direction and growth plans of a business, they’ll be able to understand available budgets and which investments are most important in reaching the overall business goals,” Johnson says. “This skill is essential, because it will help CIOs succeed when it comes to business investments, partnering with the business, communicating, setting expectations for stakeholders, and team development.”

    Being able to articulate a clearly defined future vision will also helps build trust within the IT team as well as with enterprise peers.

    7. A strong business communicator

    An IT leader must express ideas and concepts in a manner that business colleagues can easily understand. “Lose the tech-speak,” advises Seth Harris, a partner in executive search firm ON Partners.

    CIOs should speak in terms that a non-tech expert can understand and, whenever possible, use metrics that mean something to the business. “For example, don’t talk about upgrading a web platform, talk about driving revenue via ecommerce and the critical components needed to make that happen,” Harris suggests.

    Being an active listener goes hand-in-hand with strong communications skills. “To meet and exceed customer expectations, mutual understanding is critical, which can only be achieved through a strong relationship built through open and active back and forth communication,” BBB National Programs’ Bledsoe says.

    Author: John Edwards

    Source: CIO

  • 7 tips to become a better CIO

    7 tips to become a better CIO

    CIOs have long been viewed by many colleagues as second-string executives. Now is the time for IT leaders to expand their role, and to assert their unique vision and value.

    Being a CIO has never been more important. Major IT trends, including security and privacy protection, cloud computing, machine learning, and remote workforces, as well as complying with an avalanche of regulatory mandates, have elevated the CIO post to a level of importance equal to, or even exceeding, that of fellow C-level executives. Unfortunately, within many enterprises, however, management’s perception of CIOs remains firmly embedded in the past.

    It’s up to CIOs themselves to expand their role in the enterprise by moving into business areas once considered off-limits or, until recently, didn’t even exist. “Gone are the days of the CIO being a back-office IT cost manager,” declares Chris Scheefer, vice president of intelligent industry at technology services and consulting firm Capgemini Americas. “Today’s CIO must adapt and become a business strategist, a digital innovator, and an orchestrator for business.”

    Are you up to the task? If so, here are seven steps that will help you build a bigger, and more rewarding, role for yourself.

    1. Position yourself as a change agent

    From front office to back office, the CIO needs to operationalize strategy and be a change agent, driving new skills and talent into the business. “The role of the CIO, through applied digital technologies, is to build resiliency, organizational agility, and become the engine to scale new technologies and innovations into a sustainable competitive advantage,” Scheefer says.

    The key to success, Scheefer believes, is to become the C-suite’s vehicle for driving business strategy and transformation at pace and scale. “This means becoming more than a mechanism for technology project delivery and management,” he notes. It’s about bringing an outcomes- and value-oriented perspective to the job, along with a solid plan to activate the strategy holistically.”

    Too often, CIOs work reactively, waiting for the business to come to them. Proactive engagement and building an IT organization that’s integrated into front-office operations is critical to success, Scheefer says. This means embedding and integrating teams on key strategic priorities and supplying shared metrics to their business stakeholders to ensure a successful partnership. 

    2. Focus on outcomes, not technologies

    Many, perhaps even most, executive team members aren’t particularly interested in technology, yet all are interested in learning how innovation can benefit the enterprise. “Don’t hide in the basement,” advises John Abel, CIO at network equipment company Extreme Networks. “The worst thing to do as CIO is to not engage with executive stakeholders.”

    Abel suggests creating and leading monthly meetings with the executive team to bring transparency to IT planning and operations. “To play a bigger role, a good first step is to ensure your discussions are relevant to the people you’re talking to,” he says. Know what the hot-button items are and bring them to the table for dialogue and input. “This will allow the CIO to be better positioned in the company and more likely to be included in the decision-making process,” Abel explains.

    3. Build business value

    When IT begins delivering value in terms of profits earned rather than simple cost reductions, colleagues will begin viewing the CIO in an entirely new and positive light.

    “It will change the perception of the role of the CIO,” says Brian Jackson, a research director in the CIO practice at technology research and advisory company Info-Tech Research Group. “The more the CIO can support the business with key technology capabilities, the more peers will link their success to forming a strong relationship with the CIO.”

    The CIO gets a seat at the main decision-making table when IT is mature enough to deliver on initiatives that directly improve the organization’s business model, Jackson says. “If the CIO can bring in new revenue, provide customer-facing touchpoints, and drive data-driven decision making, then they are going to become integral to enterprise strategy.”

    CIOs should also consider participating in professional associations that will allow them to meet with their peers. “It can be especially insightful to discuss challenges and opportunities with other CIOs in the same industry,” Jackson notes. “It’s one way to discover some shortcuts to solving problems.” 

    4. Be open, upfront, and honest

    To build a bigger role, CIOs should clearly articulate precisely what they can and can’t do with the resources at their disposal. “Learning to present cyber needs through a risk management lens, with a clear financial outlook, is a great place to start,” suggests Tommy Gardner, CTO of government technology and services provider HP Federal. “The combination of a strong expert opinion backed by data is a powerful one and will elevate the CIO role.”

    Gardner says that CIOs also need to educate the C-suite on the fact that IT and security are continuously evolving and need to be constantly evaluated and supported from the top. “By making this an open conversation, and showing the ROI over time, CIOs can better position themselves and their teams as integral to the organization’s operations.”

    5. Seek external advice

    Relationships are built on listening, says Rebecca Fox, group CIO at security consulting firm NCC Group. Therefore, never overlook seeking external, unbiased advice when facing a particularly difficult challenge. “Getting help to create that roadmap is really helpful,” Fox notes. “It’s also more difficult for senior business leaders to dismiss external advice — with it, they are more likely to take action.”

    Building a network of fellow IT leaders to frequently interact with is key, says Prasad Ramakrishnan, CIO of SaaS provider Freshworks. “In IT, it’s not only about what you know, but also who you know,” he observes. “For example, if you need to bring in someone to solve a very niche problem, who do you know to get the job done right?”

    Ramakrishnan suggests participating in industry forums and encouraging team members to participate as well. “The collective learnings from these industry interactions can bring you together and provide you with the tools needed to solve business problems.”

    6. Aim for agility

    Emerging technologies and evolving customer and employee demands have forever changed the CIO’s role. “Today, the CIO is truly embedded,” says Florian Roth, chief digital and information officer at business application and technology provider SAP SE. “The mandate is to be agile; to actively design and deploy intelligent and sustainable technologies.”

    Roth notes that his mandate has changed dramatically in recent years. “From a classic IT manager to a strategic partner who actively shapes the intelligent and sustainable company and digital transformation,” he explains. “The role of the CIO has shifted from efficiency-driver to growth-driver, from system provider focused on managing traditional IT operations, to strategic decision-maker shaping and creating digital transformation.”

    Roth advises CIOs to take stock of gaps that need to be filled, including talent and technology, and to prioritize technologies that will drive the enterprise’s strategic vision forward. “Businesses are being pulled in many different directions and there’s an endless number of opportunities for technology to support broader company goals,” he says.

    7. Sharpen your strategy

    “What we tend to do with strategy is to make it long and cumbersome,” says Christine Ashton, CIO of SUSE, an open-source solutions provider. Yet it doesn’t have to be that way. “If you look at some of the biggest tech companies today, what they’re good at is re-running their strategy process at shorter intervals,” she notes.

    The pandemic has driven home the point that strategies can be constraining and shouldn’t limit the need to be agile. “It’s not about focusing on everything all at once, but rather focusing on the value levers that matter most to the business,” Ashton says.

    Instead of waiting a year or more to see whether a particular strategy is working, Ashton recommends running frequent and sharp strategy exercises. “By taking an end-to-end, value-based approach, you can rank projected results on how they contribute to closing your strategy gap overall,” she says. “In this way you are in a much better position to control scope and deliver real benefits faster and in phases.”

    Author: John Edwards

    Source: CIO

  • A CIO perspective on the new hybrid organization

     

    A CIO perspective on the new hybrid organization

    IT leaders are looking at lessons learned from stopgap COVID workplace measures to establish intentional hybrid workplace strategies tailored for long-term success.

    As most CIOs see it, the distributed, hybrid enterprise workforce is here to stay.

    With the Omicron variant extending hybrid or fully remote policies into 2022, most C-suite execs, including CIOs, are recognizing the need to develop longer-term hybrid workplace strategies built around new technologies employees can use to improve collaboration and productivity while balancing work and life circumstances, according to several CIOs interviewed recently.

    These strategies, CIOs expect, will lean on a combination of lessons learned throughout the pandemic, as well as policies around remote work that pre-dated COVID-19. But instituting hybrid workplace strategies as more than a stopgap introduces new challenges.

    “While there is some pre-pandemic experience with hybrid, it is not at the scale we expect it to be post-pandemic. We have to consider the challenges of hybrid meetings where part of the team is on-site and the other part is working remotely,” says Amir Arooni, CIO of Discover Financial Services, headquartered in Riverwoods, Ill.

    Like most enterprises, Discover is evaluating new technologies to improve collaboration beyond Microsoft Teams and Zoom and is rethinking the core business processes and culture of the modern enterprise, including location strategy, leadership, and collaboration, as well as HR policies.

    Evolving hybrid enterprise strategies such as Discover’s offer benefits for employers and employees alike, Arooni says, including a more flexible approach to hiring, an enhanced work-life balance, increased productivity, elimination of time lost commuting, and the ability to maintain social distancing while the pandemic continues.

    But such a big shift in how work gets done does have downsides, Arooni says, noting that a major challenge is assuring inclusion for each employee given the “inherent risk of a disconnect between in-office employees and remote workers. “There is also an increased risk of burnout for fully remote employees who work longer hours, and of colleagues or management missing the signs of burnout that are less visible when remote,” he adds.

    Micromanagement is another delicate area, Arooni notes, as some managers who cannot see their teams have not yet mastered outcome measurements.

    “It will also take intentional effort to build equitable and inclusive cultures that do not favor in-house employees over remote ones; and, where all employees have access to the right tools and technologies to do their jobs. And last, probably there is a need to redesign office space to accommodate both hybrid and in-office workers,” he notes.

    Getting the right mix

    The questions and challenges Discover is addressing are being tackled by most enterprises today. In a recent interview with CIO.com, Honeywell Chief Technology Officer Sheila Jordan spoke of her company’s hybrid workplace policy, which includes three days in the office and two days out of office.

    “Going fully remote is probably good for some small part of the population; working full time in the office is also good for some small part of the population. But people [need] to collaborate at some level and you want to define that amount of time,” says Jordan, who sees offices remaining central to the work experience, even if the office becomes the off-site meeting location and the home becomes the daily office. “There’s going to be this constant flux and what that looks like.”

    The 140-year-old Honeywell employs 110,000 in support of 3 million products, including myriad sensors and materials for commercial buildings. As a huge government/aerospace contractor, Honeywell must adhere to higher security requirements that many other commercial enterprises need not consider.

    Jordan is convinced that workplace changes brought about by the pandemic offer one big silver lining: Collaboration technologies such as Zoom have served as equalizers, instituting more inclusion and diversity in corporate meetings, she says.

    “I like how everyone’s square is the same size. When you’re watching 20 or 30 people on the call, you can see who’s not participating and who’s not engaged, and you can start asking them questions so you can see and really bring in the introverts,” she says. “Everyone’s square is the same size, so I hope that if we go back to the office, we don’t forget about the people on the call.”

    At Jaguar Land Rover, hybrid work policies are likely here to stay, but for certain classes of employees — not, for example, the technicians inside the factories assembling the Land and Range Rovers, says Harry Powell, director of data and analytics at JLR.

    “People like the flexibility it gives and we have the technology to make that happen,” says Powell, cautioning that the hybrid enterprise remains an experiment at JLR and more data and metrics must be gathered to optimize productivity and employee satisfaction.

    Powell, himself a remote worker, has a hunch there will be some downside to product development in a hybrid enterprise. “My suspicion is it will [impact] innovation,” says Powell, who, along with JLR’s CIO, reports to the CFO. “We’re not meeting and discussing ideas in the same free-flowing way, right? Hybrid working is transactional — not conversational.”

    On the upside, the hybrid enterprise gives JLR and many other companies a better card in the war for talent. JLR is headquartered in Whitley, UK.

    The impact of flexibility

    Naturally, leadership’s point of view regarding the hybrid enterprise likely differs by industry. Commercial real estate companies, for instance, may be less inclined to promote a hybrid enterprise that translates into empty downtown parking garages.

    Still, for most companies the hybrid workforce model is here to stay, says Accenture CIO Penelope Prett. “Companies have realized that with the right resources, employees can be productive no matter where they are based and enabling flexible working options can create a more loyal workforce.”

    In a prepared statement to CIO.com on this topic, Prett pointed to Accenture’s own research, which unveiled that 83% of people believe a hybrid working model is optimal. The report, titled “The Future of Work: Productive Anywhere,” was released in April, surveying more than 9,000 workers across 11 countries.

    “It’s not surprising that different employees want to work in different ways. For certain industries such as healthcare, there will always be a need to go into an office, but many companies are realizing that office space is not always essential,” says Prett, who notes that the nature of work itself is changing and training employees on new technologies and processes is far more essential than returning to their physical office.

    “What this means for companies is that traditional ideas on how to keep employees engaged may no longer hold true,” Prett says. “One area that should be a priority for a hybrid workforce to raise both engagement and flexibility is learning new skills. To stay competitive and prepare for the future, companies must upskill their tech talent quickly and across the enterprise.”

    Accenture, for one, has always encouraged remote collaboration and flexible working practices, Prett says. For instance, in any given month, Accenture’s employees share around 589 million chat messages, 1.2 billion audio minutes, and 141 million of video minutes using Microsoft Teams. She says 85% of employees surveyed say they intend to stay with their companies for a long time.

    One analyst, however, reminds CIOs and other C-suite executives that the decisions on hybrid enterprise may be out of their hands.

    “The pandemic-fueled shift to a decentralized, hybrid working model is here to stay for the long term. And with the potential for ongoing COVID-19 variations to emerge, it’s very likely that we’ll be hybrid not just for not just work but for business events for a long time to come,” says Fred McClimans, a tech and equity analyst at Futurum Research.

    “While many organizations were looking to revert back to the legacy in-office model as soon as possible,” he says, “the acceleration of digital transformation initiatives and the rapid deployment of collaborative tools have made the remote, work-from-home model much more appealing.”

    Author: Paula Rooney

    Source: CIO

  • Business Intelligence and beyond: predictions for 2016

    businessIt’s been an interesting year for BI – and 2016 looks set to be no different

    Here are some predictions on what we believe next year has in store, in particular for the data and analytics industry.

    1. Cannibalisation of the channel
    Next year will see many vendors looking to take back control, rather than invest in their channel partners. The danger for the channel is that this will result in vendors keeping good deals or redirecting services projects back to themselves. Platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have grown exponentially this year. Another risk is the continued trend of vendors developing hosted solutions, via platforms such as these that cut out their channel partners. In response to this, the channel needs to look for vendors with a transparent indirect strategy in place and form mutually beneficially relationships.

  • Contracten BI software leveranciers leiden tot onvrede bij CIO's

    Contracten BI software leveranciers leiden tot onvrede bij CIO's

    CIO's van Nederlandse bedrijven klagen over 'wurgcontracten' met grote softwareleveranciers, waardoor bedrijven naar eigen zeggen steeds meer moeten betalen voor hetzelfde product doordat de leveranciers eenzijdig de spelregels veranderen.

    De onvrede blijkt uit een enquête van het CIO Platform onder 125 CIO's van grote Nederlandse bedrijven als ABN Amro, KLM, de Belastingdienst en Akzo Nobel. Er wordt vooral geklaagd over tussentijdse eenzijdige aanpassingen in de licentieovereenkomsten. Het rumoer is niet nieuw: CIO.nl schrijft al jarenlang over de problemen met licentieovereenkomsten van grote softwarebedrijven. Met name Oracle wordt vaak genoemd als boosdoener.

    De uitkomsten van het onderzoek van het CIO Platform was voor het Financieele Dagblad aanleiding om dieper in de zaak te duiken. Veel van de betrokken CIO's wilden alleen anoniem hun verhaal doen aan het FD, zo blijkt. Wel wordt Raimond Voermans, de CIO van slachtmachinebouwer Marel, geciteerd. Hij zegt dat IT-bedrijven hun positie misbruiken door elk jaar wel 'iets' te vinden dat de prijs omhoog brengt.

    Richard Spithoven, tegenwoordig werkzaam bij licentie-adviseur B-Lay, die wel vaker aan het woord komt bij CIO.nl, doet als ex-manager van Oracle een boekje open over de licentiepraktijken bij zijn vroegere werkgever. Hij noemt het 'een verdienmodel'; de inkomsten uit software-audits en navolgende naheffingen maken soms tot 70% van de omzet uit, stelt hij.

    De wurggreep van de softwarebedrijven is zo groot, dat het haast ondoenlijk is de software de deur uit te werken. 'De meeste bedrijven zouden van dit soort leveranciers af willen, maar je afhankelijkheid is doorgaans zo groot dat het in de praktijk onmogelijk is', zo citeert de krant voorzitter Arthur Govaert van het CIO Platform.

    De CIO's komen nu in de openbaarheid omdat jarenlange gesprekken met de softwareleveranciers niets opleveren. Het CIO Platform heeft zich met een klacht gemeld bij de Eurocommissaris voor Mededinging Margrethe Vestager.

    Auteur: René Schoemaker

    Bron: CIO

  • Data, Analytics & Fuel Innovation at Celgene

    Williams-Richard-CelgeneCIO Richard Williams leads a global IT organization that’s harnessing digital, data, and analytics to support R&D innovation, drive operational excellence, and help Celgene achieve first-mover advantage in the shift to value-based, personalized health care intended to help patients live longer and healthier lives.
     
     
    An explosion of electronic health information is rocking the entire health care ecosystem, threatening to transform or disrupt every aspect of the industry. In the biopharmaceutical sector, that includes everything from the way breakthrough scientific innovations and insights occur to clinical development, regulatory approvals, and reimbursement for innovations. Celgene, the $11 billion integrated global biopharmaceutical company, is no exception.
     
    Indeed, Celgene, whose mission is to discover, develop, and commercialize innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer, immune-inflammatory, and other diseases, is aggressively working to leverage the information being generated across the health care system, applying advanced analytics to derive insights that power its core business and the functions that surround and support it. Long known for its commitment to external scientific collaboration as a source of innovation, Celgene is investing to harness not only the data it generates across the enterprise, but also the real-world health care data generated by its expanding network of partners. Combined, this network of networks is powering tremendous value.
     
    CIO Richard Williams sees his mission—and that of the IT organization he leads—as providing the platforms, data management, and analytics capabilities to support Celgene through the broader industry transition to value-based, personalized health care. At Celgene, this transformation is enabled by a focus on the seamless integration of information and technology. A cloud-first platform strategy, coupled with enterprise information management, serves as the foundation for leveraging the data generated and the corresponding insights from internal and external health care data.
     
    Williams recently shared his perspective on the changes wrought by enormous data volumes in health care, the role of IT at Celgene, and the ways IT supports life sciences innovation.
     
    Can you describe the environment in which Celgene is currently operating?
     
    Williams: We are living in an exciting era of scientific breakthroughs coupled with technology convergence. This creates both disruption and opportunity. The explosion and availability of data, the cloud, analytics, mobility, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, and other technologies are accelerating data collection and insight generation, opening new pathways for collaboration and innovation. At Celgene, we’re able to apply technology as never before—in protein homeostasis, epigenetics, immuno-oncology, immuno-inflammation, informatics, and other fields of study—to better understand disease and develop targeted therapies and treatments for people who desperately need them.
     
    How does IT support scientific and business innovation at Celgene?
     
    At its core, Celgene IT is business aligned and value focused. Rather than looking at technology for technology’s sake, we view information and technology as essential to achieving our mission and business objectives. As an integrated function, we have end-to-end visibility across the value chain. This enables us to identify opportunities to leverage technology investments to connect processes and platforms across all functions. As a result, we’re able to support improvements in R&D productivity, product launch effectiveness, and overall operational excellence.
     
    This joint emphasis on business alignment and business value, which informs everything we do, is manifest in three important ways:
     
    First is our emphasis on a core set of enterprise platforms, which enable us to provide end-to-end visibility rather than a narrower functional view. We established a dual information- and cloud-first strategy to provide more comprehensive platforms of capabilities that can be shared across Celgene’s businesses. The cloud—especially with recent advances in security and analytics—provides tremendous scale, agility, and value because it allows us to standardize and create both consistency and agility across the entire organization regardless of device or access method. It’s our first choice for applications, compute power, and storage.
     
    Second is our focus on digital and the proliferation of patient, consumer, scientific, and it is creating. Health care data is growing exponentially—from something like 500 petabytes (PB) of data in 2013 to 25,000 PB by 2020, according to one study.
     
    To address this opportunity, we’ve initiated an enterprise information management (EIM) strategy through which we are targeting important data domains across our business and applying definitions, standards, taxonomies, and governance to data we capture internally and from our external partners. Establishing that consistency is critically important. It drives not only innovation, but also insight into our science, operations, and, ultimately, patient outcomes. Celgene is at the forefront in leveraging technologies that offer on-demand compute and analytic services. By establishing data consistency and influencing and setting standards, we will support our own objectives while also benefiting the broader industry.
     
    Third is our support for collaboration—the network of networks—and the appropriate sharing of information across organizational boundaries. We want to harness the capabilities and data assets of our partners to generate insights that improve our science and our ability to get better therapies to patients faster. Celgene is well-known in the industry for external innovation—how we partner scientifically—and we are now extending this approach to data and technology collaboration. One recent example is our alliance with Medidata Solutions, whose Clinical Cloud will serve as our enterprise technology and data platform for Celgene clinical trials worldwide. Celgene is also a founding commercial member of the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network, a collaboration of cancer centers spearheaded by M2Gen, a health informatics solution company. And we have teamed with ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte and several other organizations for advanced analytics around real-world evidence and knowledge management, which will also be integrated into our data platform.
     
    You’re building this network-enabled, data-rich environment. But are your users prepared to take advantage of it?
     
    That’s an important aspect of the transformation and disruption taking place across multiple industries. Sure, IT can make information, technology, and insights available for improved decision-making, but the growing complexity of the data—whether it’s molecular structures, genomics, electronic medical records, or payment information—demands different skill sets.
     
    Data scientists are in high demand. We need to embed individuals with those specialized skills in functions from R&D to supply chain and commercial. At the same time, many more roles will require analytics acumen as part of the basic job description.
     
    As you build out your platform and data strategies, are you likely to extend those to your external alliances and partners?
     
    External collaboration enabled by shared data and analytics platforms is absolutely part of our collaboration strategy. If our informatics platforms can help our academic or commercial biotech collaborators advance the pace of their scientific evaluations, clinical studies, and commercialization, or they can help us with ours, that’s a win-win situation—and a differentiator for Celgene. We are already collaborating with Sage Bionetworks, leveraging Apple ResearchKit to develop an app that engages patients directly in innovation aimed at improving treatments for their diseases. We’re also working with IBM Watson to increase patient safety using cognitive computing to improve drug monitoring. As the power of collaborative innovation continues, collaboration will become more commonplace and lead to some amazing results.
     
    As you look out 12 to 18 months, what technologies might you want to bolt onto this platform or embed in your EIM strategy?
     
    The importance of cognitive computing, including machine learning and artificial intelligence, will continue to grow, helping us to make sense of the increasing volumes of data. The continued convergence of these technologies with the internet of things and analytics is another area to watch. It will result in operational insights as well as new, more intelligent ways to improve treatments for disease.
     
    What advice do you have for CIOs in health care or other industries who may not be as far along in their cloud, data, and analytics journeys?
    A digital enterprise is a knowledge- and information-driven enterprise, so CIOs should first focus on providing technologies and platforms that support seamless information sharing. In the process, CIOs should constantly be looking at information flows through an enterprise lens—real value is created when information is connected across all functions. Next, it’s increasingly important for CIOs to help build a technology ecosystem that allows the seamless exchange of information internally and externally because transformation and insight will occur in both places. Last, CIOs need to recognize that every job description will include data and information skills. This is an especially exciting time to be in IT because the digital capabilities we provide increasingly affect every function and role. We need to help people develop the skills they need to take advantage ofwhat we can offer now and in the future.
    Source: deloitte.wsj.com, November 14, 2016
  • Democratized software: a tool for all parts of a business

    Democratized software: a tool for all parts of a business

    We are witnessing the next wave of software: one that democratizes its use and allows all parts of a business to participate in making it work.

    My background in consulting gave me the opportunity to work with many unique businesses in diverse industries and geographies. Despite their differences, they all wanted to solve the same challenge: how to serve customers and accelerate growth?

    Today I lead one of those companies, and not surprisingly I find myself with the same needs my clients had years ago. I, too, want to serve our customers better and grow our business faster and am looking for the smartest and most innovative ways to do so.

    My time in consulting coincided with the rapid rise of application software and I lived through the transition from on-premise to cloud-based software. While the hosting mechanics changed, the software was similar. In both worlds, CIO shops and large consulting organizations configured application software and designed best-practice business processes to drive adherence to internal process and policy. Process design decisions were controlled centrally and rolled out to business users. A focus on the customer was often secondary to consistency, efficiency and adherence.

    Democratized software, by contrast, allows more people, especially those on the front-line with customers, to own and solve their customers’ needs. Business users can adapt and extend the core business processes without disrupting business and IT integrity. Using low-code (or 'average-joe code') applications, businesspeople can create workflows and business processes without depending on their IT organizations. Problem solving is placed in the hands of the people who identified and live with their customers’ needs and empowers them to act faster.

    We saw this transition happen over the past decade with websites. IT teams grew tired of managing the dynamic nature of websites and put the power to change them in the hands of marketing teams. The technology shift from (for example) Java scripting to WordPress accelerated this change. We now see the opportunity to achieve this same dynamic with other business functions. Whether the software is labeled low-code, forms management, workflow automation, robotics process automation (RPA), or any other number of things, business users can essentially build applications to manage their work without negotiating for, and consuming, precious IT resources.

    As a result, enterprise software is changing and becoming more powerful and flexible for its end-users. At the same time, CIOs and their teams are more comfortable empowering business users to solve for themselves while maintaining the controls and governance to protect the enterprise. Luckily, this flatter and more dynamic environment is one embraced (and even insisted upon) by the new generation of employees and leaders.

    There is another aspect of traditional application software that’s being challenged. For as long as I have worked with CIOs and business leaders, there has been a debate between choosing best-of-breed point solutions vs. fully integrated packages. People often want the advanced functionality associated with best-of-breed, but they don’t want the headaches associated with building and maintaining the integration of these solutions.

    In the old days, larger enterprises moved toward integrated ERP packages to avoid these integration challenges. This left them with less flexible software designed primarily to drive process adherence and control with its users. ERP is about managing the transactions and data associated with core business processes. These core processes don’t embrace the constantly changing needs of customers. They aren’t inherently customer centric. It’s all about consistency, efficiency and process adherence. Today, businesses need to adapt to the needs of their customers, and to connect these core business processes more directly to their customers.

    There is great consumer parallel from the media industry, where customers have subscribed to Comcast or DirectTV for their content needs. These companies assume the challenge of aggregating access and content. The advancement of technology (specifically network wireless access and bandwidth) now allows consumers to curate their own content interests across a broader network. Consumers can subscribe to the content that matters to them, such as ESPN, HBO, Disney+, and Netflix, and often pay less than their current subscription contracts. The same is possible with today’s flexible SaaS software. CIOs can buy multiple packages and allow business owners to solve customer needs in the field. The advancement in technology makes integrations and information security much easier than before while providing this flexibility.

    We are witnessing the next wave of software: one that democratizes its use and allows all parts of a business to participate in making it work. As this happens, we will witness software segment convergence that brings many software categories together to engage customers more completely, and that allows enterprises to adapt and flex to a dynamic customer experience.

    Author: David T. Roberts

    Source: Informationweek

  • Digital Transformation Requires Total Organizational Commitment

    shutterstock 127574942By now you’ve surely heard that moving forward, every company will be a software company, and that shift is happening now as companies large and small scramble to transform into digitally-driven organizations.

    Wherever you turn, businesses are facing tremendous disruptive pressure. What’s interesting is that the theory about how firms should be dealing with this massive change is itself in flux, transforming if you will, as organizations come to grips with the idea that the most basic ways they do business are being called into question.

    Just over a year ago when I researched this topic, I found that the general method for dealing with disruption was developing pockets of innovation inside a company using labs or incubators to prime the innovation pump. Today, when I explore the same issues, I’m finding that companies are taking a much more comprehensive approach that has to do with reviewing every department and business process in the organization.

    The issue with the lab or incubator concept is how you move the kind of innovative thinking from that internal innovation test bed into the organization at large. The reasoning behind isolating innovation was sound enough, because those fledgling ideas would very likely be sucked up into the vacuum of existing business policies where they get lost forever in a haze of bureaucratic negativity. If you want to kill innovation, you just keep saying “no.”

    The new thinking says you have to start looking at the big picture from the first day and you have to consider the impact that these changes are going to have on the entire organization. You have to figure out how to grease the skids of creativity so they don’t get slowed down by HR, legal, IT and by all the systems and departments that have been put in place to protect and limit these kinds of changes inside large organizations. Now the idea is to teach those well-meaning naysayers to get the heck out of the way and for them to also find new ways of achieving their goals and requirements as the organization marches forward into a digitally driven future.

    Thinking Bigger Picture

    As we’ve seen through the experience of implementing individual enterprise systems such as content management, ERP or CRM trying to get a large organization moving in the same direction across departments is a huge challenge. When you suddenly put your whole business model on notice, a pocket of innovation is just too incremental to deal with that scale of change.

    Aaron Levie, CEO at Box is co-teaching a course this semester at Stanford with professor Rob Siegel called The Industrialist’s Dilemma where they explore the kinds of issues large established organizations face as they maneuver through these massive changes.

    “What happens when you take a business that’s good at analog stores, and software can deliver new disruptive experiences? How do they respond? No product is more physical and analog than a retail store or car. We are seeing those [delivery models] inverted and flipped over by technology,” says Levie.

    When I spoke to Edward Hiaett, SVP of services at Pivotal and in charge of Pivotal Labs, at Web Summit in October, 2014, his company was one of those organizations working on the pockets of innovation approach, but he said his company’s thinking has evolved.

    When he looks at a firm like one of his clients, Ford, he sees a company that has to completely change the way it does business. In the next decade it’s possible that many people won’t own cars in the traditional sense. In fact they might not even be driving them anymore as self-driven cars become more widespread. That means the whole firm has to start examining all of its long-established systems around how they design, deliver, market and sell automobiles.

    And they need to start looking at these systems now before the delivery model changes, Hiaett says. It doesn’t mean it changes all at once, but if Ford is in the midst of pivoting from a business selling cars to one that’s in the ‘the mobility business’, it’s clearly going to have a major impact on all of the company’s long-established business processes.

    Clarity Of Vision

    This means that the executive suite has to have a clear plan for the future, and a way to put the company on the road toward delivering on that vision. They can’t hide the innovation team in the basement. They need to inject innovative thinking into every process in the organization and that requires reconsidering every process, says Michael Krigsman, founder of cxotalk.com, a weekly web-based talk show on which Krigsman interviews leading tech industry executives.

    “The successful executives are able to embrace change. This is a very key point and it’s really the most difficult thing about this. With the exception of startups, every company has an established business model and way they do business. Product lines, services and employees have been optimized for standard processes,” Krigsman told TechCrunch.

    Executives require a particular set of skills and approaches as the organization shifts:

    digital-cio-mindset

    Levie says that he sees CIOs with these kinds of traits in his job as Box CEO, but he says he has seen organizations held back when there isn’t a unified front in the C suite.

    “I think the majority of companies recognize how disruptive these trends are. A small percentage recognize this at the CEO level and board level. Me personally in building and selling enterprise software, we interact with a large percentage of CIOs that get it, but don’t always have the support from CEO and that makes it harder without top-down support,” Levie explained.

    It’s A People Problem

    As we tend to do in this business, we have been attacking this type of change by throwing different technologies at it, and while technology can certainly help, it requires a much more personal approach by management, one that takes the people who have to implement these massive changes into account.

    Just last week Accenture released its annual 2016 Technology Vision Report and the consulting juggernaut says the success of any company going through fundamental digital transformation is understanding that it’s first and foremost a people issue.

    Finding ways to help people across this digital divide and the culture shock that rapid change brings is going to be just as important as the technology we use to get there, says Marc Carrel-Billiard, global tech R&D Lead on digital transformation at Accenture.

    “When we talk to clients, we usually start by talking about technology, but [typically] after 15 minutes, we shift gears. We start talking about people and the digital culture shock they are in. If [clients] want to be digital, it’s not just about technological change because it’s coming [regardless]. Companies need to think about people or it will not work at all,” he said.

    How To Get There

    One lesson we should have learned after all these years of trying to implement incremental change management is that it’s always been about people and managing how to deal with these changes. Today, the speed of change is coming so quickly, and the requirements are so daunting, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It requires companies to shift their mindset completely, Krigsman says.

    “Companies that do this well are able to adopt a beginner’s mind set, taking an approach of looking at things from a fresh perspective,” he explained.

    This could involve, for example, having fewer impediments for customer service by implementing systems so that information flows more seamlessly from one department to another and across systems.

    “What does that mean to customers and internal processes? It comes down to being willing to experiment and look at things through a new lens,” Krigsman said.

    In fact, he recommends that companies partner with startups, which tend to be smaller, more nimble and creative. “The reason for that, the big challenge is how do you inject new thinking. And that’s a very hard thing to do because it comes down to several things, the ingrained behaviors of people who have been doing this job this way for a long time,” he said.

    By injecting new thinking into a company, employees can start to see that there are different ways to handle those standard business practices and can begin to incorporate that type of creative thinking into their organizational philosophy.

    When you consider that 88 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 are now gone, it’s not hard to see that change has always been with us, but the rate of change is accelerating dramatically due in large part to the disruption brought about by digital transformation.

    “The cool thing is that incumbents recognize that the same assets that can hold them back, can also be used to compete in a different guise,” Levie said. That means it’s not all gloom and doom, companies just have to start thinking much more creatively about their digital future and the effect that will have across the organization.

    Source: TechCrunch

  • Digital transformation: Key goals and leaders

    Digital transformation: Key goals and leaders

    According to Innosight research, the average company tenure on the S&P 500 Index in 1977 was 37 years. By 2027, it’s forecasted to be just 12. At the current churn rate, about half of the companies now on the S&P 500 will be replaced over the next ten years. Digital Darwinism is steadily accelerating.

    '52% of the Fortune 500 have been merged, acquired, have gone bankrupt, or fallen off the list since 2000', notes Constellation Research Founder and Disrupting Digital Business author Ray Wang in a recent webcast. 'That is an amazing stat when you think about the level of disruption that’s happening inside lots of organizations'.

    Wang notes that digital leaders are now creating not just a digital divide, but a winner-take-all market. Overall, digital leaders now take up to 69.8% of market share, versus 30% for everyone else. And in percentage of profits, they lead with 77.1% versus 22.9% for everyone else. 'Using data-driven business models, they are able to create an unfair advantage, and it’s happening in every single marketing and every single industry', says the analyst and author.

    In Constellation Research’s latest digital transformation study, 68% of businesses with digital transformation projects are now seeing a positive ROI. Goals widely shared by these businesses include:

    • Reaching and engaging with customers more effectively
    • Building a competitive advantage in their current market
    • Implementing new, data-driven business models
    • Increasing revenue
    • Modernizing legacy IT and reducing costs
    • Improving agility
    • Faster innovation cycles
    • Improving the employee experience
    • Greater transparency
    • Compliance

    Who's leading the digital transformation charge?

    In 33% of organizations, notes Constellation’s survey, it’s the CIO who’s leading digital transformation initiatives. In 23% of organizations, it’s the CEO. In 20% of organizations, it’s the CDO (being chief digital or chief data officers). And depending upon who’s leading, the digital transformation priorities for the business may be different.

    When a CIO leads, their top three priorities tend to be:

    1. Building a competitive advantage (38%)
    2. Modernizing legacy IT and reducing costs (38%)
    3. Implementing data-driven business models (33%)

    When a CEO leads, their top three priorities are:

    1. Engaging with customers more effectively (57%)
    2. Building a competitive advantage (50%)
    3. Increasing revenue (43%)

    For CDOs (chief digital or chief data officers), the top priorities are also different, with:

    1. Implementing data-driven business models and engaging in faster innovation cycles tied for first place (50%)
    2. Engaging with customers more effectively, modernizing legacy IT, and reducing costs tied for second (43%)

    Conclusion

    No matter who leads your organization's digital transformation, it is obvious that businesses trnsforming digitally and data-driven are having a competitive edge in the present and future. When taking on the process of digital transformation for your business, make sure to align your data strategy with company goals and primary processes. Choosing the right person to lead this process is key to a successful transformation.

    Author: Tricia Morris

    Source: MicroStrategy

  • Gartner's nieuwjaars resoluties voor CIO's in 2020

    Gartner's nieuwjaarsresoluties voor CIO's in 2020

    Voordat CIO's allerlei nieuwe initiatieven in het komende jaar gaan ontplooien, is het nuttig om zowel de mentale en fysieke ruimte op te ruimen om plek te creëren voor die nieuwe dingen, adviseert Gartner.

    Zoals de analistenfirma in haar 2020 CIO Resoluties rapport aangeeft, kan dit echter een uitdaging zijn voor de huidige technologische en digitale leiders.

    Ondanks de stijgende IT-budgetten zijn veel IT-afdelingen ondergefinancierd omdat verzoeken voor IT de beschikbare budgetten overstijgen, melden de analisten van Gartner en de auteurs van het rapport Mark Raskino, Mary Mesaglio en Tina Nunno.

    'De druk om meer te doen met minder, of om gewoon meer te doen, kan leiden tot aanzienlijke fysieke en mentale vermoeidheid', schrijven ze.

    'CIO's moeten een omgeving creëren waar zowel zij als hun afdelingen mentale ballast kunnen elimineren en het nieuwe jaar energiek beginnen'.

    Hun aanbeveling? Laat onnuttige ballast vallen of doe spullen weg die steeds minder opbrengen of weinig waarde toevoegen.

    Een manier is om het kantoor te legen en alleen spullen terug te brengen waar CIO's zich positief over voelen.

    'De ruimte herschikken voor een nieuw perspectief', zeggen de analisten.

    De hele IT-afdeling kan ook een opruimdag inplannen.

    Gartner adviseert ook om de achterstand van initiatieven die zwaar drukt op de afdeling, weg te werken en om beleid, processen of procedures die geen waarde toevoegen, op te ruimen.

    Op deze manier kunnen CIO's 'fris beginnen met een toekomstgericht plan'.

    De auteurs van het rapport roepen ook op om een einde te maken aan het 'opendeurbeleid' van de CIO.

    'Degenen die gebruik maken van een openstaande kantoordeur zijn niet altijd degenen die een CIO het meest nodig heeft', merken ze op.

    In plaats daarvan moeten CIO's zich beschikbaar stellen aan 'strategische genodigden' of high performers van verschillende niveaus en afdelingen.

    'Delegeer, machtig en stel je leiderschapsteam in staat om de andere bezoekers in het spel te brengen', benadrukken ze.

    Langzaam en niet snel denken

    Een van hun topadviezen voor CIO's is om 'analoog te denken'.

    'Langzaam denken, niet snel denken, overwint complexe problemen en vindt originele oplossingen', stellen ze. 'Je geest heeft hulp nodig om harder te werken en substantiëler te denken. Soms helpen minder rigide, langzamer en meer fysieke denkgereedschappen'.

    Herinner je je de vulpen? 'Gebruik het om vier of vijf cultuurverschuivende zinnen op te stellen die het komende jaar vaak herhaald moeten worden', stellen ze.

    Soms helpen minder stijve, langzamere en meer fysieke denkgereedschappen.

    CIO's wordt geadviseerd om schrijfpapier van topkwaliteit te gebruiken en deze woorden als een kalligraaf te schrijven om zeer gedenkwaardige aforismen te creëren.

    Een andere aanpak is om de hele kantoormuur te gebruiken als 'denkruimte', met details van hun plannen voor 2020.

    Dit is een gangbare praktijk bij digitale reuzen en starters, meldt Gartner.

    Zij adviseren ook om 'uw volgende organisatie in LEGO te ontwerpen'.

    Haal een grote grondplaat en een doos met minifiguurtjes. Deze laatste zullen de 'metaforische bouwvakkers, duikers en superhelden' in de organisatie vertegenwoordigen.

    Net als in voorgaande jaren eindigt Gartner met deze eeuwigdurende resolutie - om tijd te maken voor een directe ervaring met nieuwe technologieën.

    Deze kunnen variëren van alledaagse Internet of Things (IoT)-producten, tot low-code-platforms die 'citizen developers' in de organisatie in staat stellen, evenals opkomende technologieën die specifiek zijn voor hun respectievelijke industrieën.

    Dit is belangrijk omdat te midden van de drukke en verschuivende rol van de huidige CIO's, ze naar verwachting ook de aanzet zullen geven tot futuristische zakelijke deals en inzichten zullen delen over belangrijke opkomende technologieën, concludeert Gartner.

    Auteur: Divina Paredes

    Bron: CIO

  • Het takenpakket van de CIO gaat ook customer experience omvatten

    Het takenpakket van de CIO gaat ook customer experience omvatten

    De rol van de CIO verandert, dat weten we allemaal. Maar steeds vaker wordt de technologische leider ook leidend in het optimaliseren van de klantervaring.

    IT wordt steeds complexer en de rol van de CIO verandert continu, daar is iedereen het over eens, maar hoe ziet de CIO van de toekomst eruit? De toekomstige CIO is de absolute leider van digitale transformatie en drijver van innovatie en groei. Dit komt omdat de CIO van de toekomst goed in staat is om technische expertise te verbinden met organisatorische skills. Maar wist je ook dat de CIO de persoon is die verantwoordelijk is, of zou moeten zijn, voor de customer experience?

    CIO: de trusted operator en business cocreator

    Onderzoek van Deloitte laat zien dat de rol van de CIO op verschillende manieren verandert. Er wordt in dit onderzoek verschil gemaakt in verschillende rollen die de CIO kan spelen. De trusted operator is de CIO die zich concentreert op efficiëntie, betrouwbaarheid en kosten. Hij of zij levert ondersteunende technologieën en sluit aan bij de bedrijfsstrategie. Een andere rol is de business cocreator, die zijn tijd vooral besteedt aan het sturen van de bedrijfsstrategie en mogelijk maken van verandering. Met als doel een effectieve uitvoering van de strategie.

    Customer experience valt onder takenpakket CIO

    Bij Salesforce helpt men steeds vaker organisaties die van hun CIO verwachten dat hij of zij bedrijfsprocessen, zoals de customer experience, kan transformeren. Uiteraard is hij of zij verantwoordelijk voor het (laten) bouwen van back-endsystemen, maar daarnaast zal de CIO ook bedrijfsprocessen moeten stroomlijnen door middel van technologie. Kijkende naar het onderzoek van Deloitte kun je concluderen dat het optimaliseren van de customer experience steeds meer een taak wordt van de CIO daar dat linkt aan bedrijfsprocessen en dus de rol van de trusted operator.

    Een mooi voorbeeld hiervan is van het bedrijf KONE, waar de CIO verantwoordelijk is voor het steeds slimmer worden van productie en onderhoud van roltrappen, liften en rolpaden met hulp van IoT en realtime-technologie. Het systeem kan storingen opsporen en automatisch een werkorder afgeven, waardoor het probleem al kan worden verholpen voordat de klant door heeft dat er iets mis is. Daarnaast heeft de buitendienst van KONE toegang tot goede en actuele informatie, en kan het door deze inzichten beter inspelen op de behoeften van de klant. Hierdoor kan een bedrijf proactieve, betere service verlenen waardoor de customer experience verbetert en het meer tevreden klanten oplevert.

    De ultieme customer experience

    De ultieme customer experience is gebaseerd op diepe en brede inzichten in de klant; een uniform klantbeeld is hiervoor noodzakelijk. Bij veel organisaties verzamelt elke afdeling eigen data en vormt zijn eigen inzichten over de klant. Het probleem is echter dat, zonder een customer data platform, deze data gefragmenteerd is en niet volledig kan worden benut. Wanneer systemen en databronnen niet samenwerken, kan de ene afdeling niet bij de waardevolle inzichten van de andere afdeling. Inzichten die kunnen helpen om de klant nog beter van dienst te zijn. Aan de CIO de taak om alle verschillende databronnen te integreren, zodat elke afdeling op elk moment over alle informatie van de klant beschikt en een betere klantervaring kan bieden. Dit stelt een verkoper bijvoorbeeld in staat om mogelijkheden voor cross-selling en up-selling te identificeren op basis van de geschiedenis van elke klant.

    Wanneer alle data van de klant beschikbaar is, kan deze data geanalyseerd worden en kunnen er aanbevelingen op worden gedaan. Aan de hand van eerder gekochte producten kun je er dan bijvoorbeeld achter komen of en wát iemand hoogstwaarschijnlijk de volgende keer zal kopen. Zo stelt het vervolgens marketing weer in staat om de juiste boodschap op het juiste moment bij de juiste klant te brengen, zodat deze sneller converteert. Dat is de belangrijke rol van de CIO binnen de customer experience waarbij de CIO zowel de trusted operator als ook de business cocreator-rol uitoefent en combineert. Dus CIO van de toekomst; zorg dat je zowel de trusted operator bent áls de business cocreator zodat je in staat bent de customer experience van begin tot het eind te optimaliseren.

    Auteur: Onno Tjeerdsma

    Bron: CIO

  • Hoe groot is ‘the next big thing’?

    iotWat als IoT gewoon een overkoepelende term zou zijn voor manieren om iets bruikbaars te maken uit machine-gegenereerde data? Bijvoorbeeld, een bus vertelt mijn telefoon hoe ver mijn bushalte is en mijn fietsverhuur vertelt me ​​hoeveel fietsen beschikbaar zijn?

    In 2014 vroeg IDC 400 C-suite professionals wat volgens hen IoT was. De antwoorden varieerden van soorten apparaten (thermostaten, auto's, home security-systemen) tot uitdagingen (beveiliging, data management, connectiviteit). Dezelfde analist benadrukt ook dat de wereldwijde markt voor IoT oplossingen zal groeien van 1,9 biljoen in 2013 tot 7,1 biljoen dollar in 2020. Dit optimisme wordt ondersteund door Gartner’s inschatting: 4,9 miljard gekoppelde 'dingen' zullen in 2016 in gebruik zijn. In 2020 zullen dat er 25 miljard zijn.
    Met andere woorden: IoT is zeer divers en het potentieel is enorm. De waarde ligt niet alleen in de kosten van de sensoren. Het is veel meer dan dat.

    Wanneer IoT begint te vertellen
    Het IoT is niet iets dat op zichzelf staat. Het rijpt naast big data. Het uitrusten van miljarden objecten met sensoren is van beperkte waarde als het niet mogelijk is miljarden datastromen te genereren, verzenden, opslaan en te analyseren.
    De datawetenschapper is de menselijke choreograaf van dit IoT. Zij zijn essentieel voor het identificeren van de waarde van de enorme hoeveelheid data die al deze apparaten genereren. En dat is de reden waarom connectiviteit en opslag zo belangrijk zijn. Kleine geïsoleerde apparaten zonder opslag en weinig rekenkracht vertellen ons weinig. Alleen door naar grote verzamelingen data te kijken kunnen we correlaties ontdekken en wordt het mogelijk trends te herkennen en voorspellingen te doen.
    In elke zakelijke omgeving, is het scenario identiek: de CxO zal de informatie die er vandaag is bekijken ten opzichte van informatie die er was in het verleden om een voorspelbaar inzicht te krijgen in wat er gaat gebeuren in de toekomst.

    Sneller inzicht leidt tot concurrentievoordeel
    CxO’s willen tegenwoordig een ander soort bedrijf. Ze willen dat het in een snel tempo opereert en reageert op de markt, maar ze willen ook beslissingen nemen op basis van intelligentie verzameld via big data. En ze willen de beste producten maken, gebaseerd op klantinzicht. Bedrijven zijn op zoek naar een disruptief business model waardoor ze steeds meer in kunnen spelen op trends in de markt en daarmee een voorsprong hebben op de concurrentie.

    Start-up gedrag
    Het antwoord ligt in de volgende vraag aan bedrijven: "Waarom kunnen ondernemingen zich niet meer als start-ups gedragen?" Dit gaat niet over het maken van overhaaste beslissingen met weinig of geen overzicht. Het gaat over het aannemen van een slank business model dat onzekerheid en uitgerekte budgetten tolereert. En nog belangrijker, het gaat over hoe het management van het bedrijf een cultuur van slagvaardigheid neerzet.
    De organisaties die zullen winnen in het big data spel zijn niet degenen die de meeste of de beste toegang ertoe hebben. De winnaars omschrijven duidelijk hun doelen, zetten de nodige operationele grenzen en stellen vast wat de uitrusting is die nodig is om de klus te klaren.

    Leidende rol CIO's
    CxO’s hebben de zakelijke waarde van IT erkend, en willen dat CIO's meer een leidende rol nemen en in kaart brengen wat de toekomst is van het bedrijf. IT kan een enorme rol spelen in de bouw van die toekomst door samen te werken met de business en de tools te verschaffen die nodig zijn om productief te zijn. Technologie kan voortdurende innovatie op elk niveau vergemakkelijken, waardoor het bedrijf niet alleen kan overleven maar floreren.
    Het is niet niks om deze wens van bedrijven te bereiken. Maar samenwerken met technologie maakt het veel haalbaarder omdat het bedrijven in staat stelt tot een wendbare, innovatieve, data-gedreven toekomst te komen.

    Source: ManagersOnline

  • How CIOs are learning from the COVID-19 pandemic to transform towards agile

    How CIOs are learning from the COVID-19 pandemic to transform towards agile

    If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that you can never be too prepared for change – fast-moving, come-out-of-nowhere change that transforms the way we run our businesses, manage our people, and secure the stability of our enterprises. 

    Disruptive events in business are nothing new. As leaders, we have long invested in planning and processes that enable our organizations to withstand many types of disruption, be it social upheaval, unfavorable market conditions, supply chain breakdowns, or environmental disaster.

    COVID-19, however, was leagues beyond what even the most risk-aware organizations could fathom, let alone plan ahead for in a specific, actionable way. Now, emerging from the pandemic and moving forward into a work landscape that is perhaps more flexible and adaptable than ever before, the COVID-19 wake-up call must be heeded in a thoughtful, intentional manner that prioritizes digital transformation, so that organizations can be nimble and adaptive to the next major, fast-moving disruption. 

    CIOs Are Leading the Digital Transformation Revolution 

    Many CIOs are already in go-mode, leveraging the lessons of the pandemic to push for more agile organizations and business and technology scalability. In fact, a March 2021 SAPinsider survey reveals that 62% of executives and leaders have identified process efficiency as a top business priority for 2021. 

    With the pandemic forcing business to incorporate unprecedented agility into nearly every facet of operations, it’s not surprising that many leaders now see a highly customized and difficult-to-change ERP system as a liability during times of unexpected change. One CIO who has been leading their organization’s digital transformation project for the past year described the challenges of innovating on an antiquated platform as limiting their ability to do new and innovative things with SAP – and that implementing new functionality, or doing anything new, requires significant effort and testing. Those limitations don’t lend themselves to supporting the level of innovation CIOs are looking for, driving them to build new digital platforms with SAP S/4HANA.

    This CIO is certainly not alone in their push for proactive, strategic digital transformation. Right now, CIOs around the world are advocating more forcefully than ever to migrate systems to the cloud and to streamline digital operations by integrating disparate systems and data. The SAPInsider survey backs this up, noting that many CIOs are finding that their pushes toward digital transformation are meeting less resistance these days. With the pandemic proving the irrelevance of location for labor forces and technical infrastructure alike, the realization that the cloud is king has crystallized. The pandemic has ushered in a new era of accord: IT partners, and the technology and innovation they make possible, are not behind-the-scenes vendors, performing tactical functions. Instead, strategic technology partnerships are foundational to most organizations’ livelihoods.

    Many leaders are taking note – and taking action. Over half of executives in the SAPinsider study identified SAP S/4HANA as their most strategic investment in the coming year – despite the fact that SAP’s deadline isn’t until 2027 – and many have already committed to the budgets (66%) and headcount (36%) required to make the transformation goal achievable. With proper planning, S/4HANA can be a game-changing break from the complex, disparate systems that built rigidity into the essential fabric of your business. Is the unsorted data you’ve inherited or accumulated serving your goals? Most likely, it’s weighing you down without pulling its weight in terms of delivering trustworthy analytics. Digital transformation on the whole, and S/4HANA more specifically, provide a golden opportunity to assess your current data landscape and develop a proactive plan that will set your organization up for increased resilience and strategic innovation.

    If ever there were a moment to advocate for organizational resilience strategies, it’s today. The pandemic may be easing up in the U.S., but if the past year has taught us anything at all, it’s to expect the unexpected. Preparation and agility are not virtues we can afford to forget as the pandemic becomes a more distant memory. 

    Author: Steele Arbeeny

    Source: Dataversity

  • Information Is Now The Core Of Your Business

    DataData is at the very core of the business models of the future – and this means wrenching change for some organizations.

    We tend to think of our information systems as a foundation layer that support the “real” business of the organization – for example, by providing the information executives need to steer the business and make the right decisions.

    But information is rapidly becoming much more than that: it’s turning into an essential component of the products and services we sell.

    Information-augmented products

    In an age of social media transparency, products “speak for themselves”– if you have a great product, your customers will tell their friends. If you have a terrible product, they’ll tell the world. Your marketing and sales teams have less room for maneuver, because prospects can easily ask existing customers if your product lives up to the promises.

    And customer expectations have risen. We all now expect to be treated as VIPs, with a “luxury” experience. When we make a purchase, we expect to be recognized. We expect our suppliers to know what we’ve bought in the past. And we expect personalized product recommendations, based on our profile, the purchases of other people like us, and the overall context of what’s happening right now.

    This type of customer experience doesn’t just require information systems; the information is an element of the experience itself, part of what we’re purchasing, and what differentiates products and services in the market.

    New ways of selling

    New technologies like 3D printing and the internet of things are allowing companies to rethink existing products.

    Products can be more easily customized and personalized for every customer. Pricing can be more variable to address new customer niches. And products can be turned into services, with customers paying on a per-usage basis.

    Again, information isn’t just supporting the manufacturing and sale of the product – it’s part of what makes it a “product” in the first place.

    Information as a product

    In many industries, the information collected by business is now more valuable than the products being sold – indeed, it’s the foundation for most of the free consumer internet. Traditional industries are now realizing that the data stored in their systems, once suitably augmented or anonymized, can be sold directly. See this article on the Digitalist magazine, The Hidden Treasure Inside Your Business, for more information about the four main information business models.

    A culture change for “traditional IT”

    Traditional IT systems were about efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity. These new context-based experiences and more sophisticated products use information to generate growth, innovation, and market differentiation. But these changes lead to a difficult cultural challenge inside the organization.

    Today’s customer-facing business and product teams don’t just need reliable information infrastructures. They need to be able to experiment, using information to test new product options and ways of selling. This requires not only much more flexibility and agility than in the past, but also new ways of working, new forms of IT organization, and new sharing of responsibilities.

    The majority of today’s CIOs grew up in an era of “IT industrialization,” with the implementation of company-wide ERP systems. But what made them successful in the past won’t necessarily help them win in the new digital era.

    Gartner believes that the role of the “CIO” has already split into two distinct functions: Chief Infrastructure Officers whose job is to “keep the lights on”; and Chief Innovation Offers, who collaborate closely with the business to build the business models of the future.

    IT has to help lead

    Today’s business leaders know that digital is the future, but typically only have a hazy idea of the possibilities. They know technology is important, but often don’t have a concrete plan for moving forward: 90% of CEOs believe the digital economy will have a major impact on their industry. But only 25% have a plan in place, and less than 15% are funding and executing a digital transformation plan.

    Business people want help from IT to explain what’s possible. Today, only 7% of executives say that IT leads their organization’s attempts to identify opportunities to innovate, 35% believe that it should. After decades of complaints from CIOs that businesses aren’t being strategic enough about technology, this is a fantastic new opportunity.

    Design Thinking and prototyping

    Today’s CIOs have to step up to digital innovation. The problem is that it can be very hard to understand — history is packed with examples of business leaders that just didn’t “get” the new big thing.  Instead of vague notions of “disruption,” IT can help by explaining to business people how to add information into a company’s future product experiences.

    The best way to do this is through methodologies such as Design Thinking, and agile prototyping using technologies should as Build.me, a cloud platform that allows pioneers to create and test the viability of new applications with staff and customers long before any actual coding.

    Conclusion

    The bottom line is that digital innovation is less about the technology, and more about the transformation — but IT has an essential role to play in demonstrating what’s possible, and needs to step up to new leadership roles.

     

    Source: timoelliot.com, November 14, 2016

  • Key demands for modern Chief Information Officers

    Key demands for modern Chief Information Officers

    As companies digitalize, they expect more than ever from their chief information officers.

    The movement of companies into a digital economy has redefined the role of the CIO.

    “The CIO’s role has always had multiple components, but in forward-thinking firms, it’s increasingly oriented toward leading business transformation through technology,” according to March, 2021 research conducted by Genpact, the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, and Wakefield Research.

    Key areas where companies expect CIOs and IT to step up so IT can be transformed into a revenue-generating function are the following:

    1. Collaboration with sales and line-of-business units

    To expedite time to market and sales, companies are now forming revenue operations teams (RevOps). 

    “Investing in RevOps is an investment in transparency and accountability. It offers the ability to operationalize growth at scale, with rigor that offers repeatable processes replicated throughout the organization to drive predictable revenue and growth,” said Rosalyn Santa Elena, Head of Revenue Operations at Clari, in a recent blog. The standard RevOps team includes sales and sales enablement -- but also data analytics, insights, systems, and technology operations.

    In other words, it might be corporate sales that is driving the RevOps team, but

    IT with its analytics, systems, and technology is also a critical cog in the machine, and CIOs who are being asked to focus on revenue need to be integrally involved in RevOps.

    2. E-commerce and the customer experience

    The customer experience, and an increasing number of digital customer touch points within companies, is what's driving the IT engagement in RevOps.

    Companies need to maintain a healthy presence in social media while they also use analytics to understand the trends that are ongoing in social media and how these trends and company feedback reflect on their organizations. Websites must perform without interruption or errors and be easy to navigate. Online processes must be streamlined and easy to execute -- from initial product search and order fulfillment to a product return or exchange.

    In recent PwC research, customers said they were more willing to try and buy brands from companies that offered a superior customer experience. The PwC report posed this question: “What truly makes for a good experience? Speed. Convenience. Consistency. Friendliness. And human touch -- that is, creating real connections by making technology feel more human and giving employees what they need to create better customer experiences.”

    To effect seamless business processes for customers online and even in-store, IT needs to be engaged, and CIOs need to take a leading role.

    Part of this role is enabling new technologies and streamlining business processes, but it’s equally important to benchmark customer satisfaction for these new technologies and processes against the older methods that were used -- and to monetize the results in hard numbers for customer loyalty and retention, and revenue results.

    3. New product development

    In the past three years, I've met several CIOs who left their corporate IT jobs to head up spinoff companies in the technology space for their parent companies. The CIOs I spoke with were working in the financial services sector. They were leading new ventures in online banking, card services and analytics and risk assessment. Their common goal was to take new products that IT, in collaboration with the end business, had developed for their customer bases, and to expand these bases. In the process of doing this, the CIOs became spinoff CEOs with their own new lines of revenue-generating business.

    This is a departure from past practice, where IT and CIOs were relegated to back-office functions. As more business and products become digital, we are likely to see more CIOs take the helm of new corporate spinoff companies with profit and loss responsibilities.

    4. Outsourcing services

    In recent years, a number of organizations have also begun to monetize their own internal IT by extending their services and products to customer-companies outside of their own enterprises.

    An example is a large bank that has a complete portfolio of systems for processing online banking transactions, credit and debit cards, loans, security, risk assessment and analytics.

    Smaller community banks might not be able to afford all these bells and whistles, so what happens is these smaller organizations agree to pay fees for service to the larger bank. In turn, the larger bank’s IT department supports the systems that the community banks have contracted for, and that they couldn’t afford on their own.

    This business arrangement can be a win-win for everyone. The community banks obtain the systems and services that they otherwise couldn't afford, and the large bank receives revenue dollars from its community bank customers that offset or exceed IT expenses.

    In this model, it’s possible to create an IT corporate spinoff that manages the community bank business, but also possible to operate this business from within the internal IT operation. In either scenario, the CIO has profit and loss responsibility for the business, and IT must be able to support the needs of outside customers, as well as its own internal needs.

    In Summary

    The future of business is digital, although many corporate executives fear (and have experienced) digital failures. It is CIOs who are now being asked to lead their companies out of this digital wilderness.

    This isn’t a small undertaking. It will require CIOs getting their heads around P&L sheets as well as budgets. Nevertheless, this is the role that more companies expect their CIOs to assume.

    Author: Mary E. Shacklett

    Source: InformationWeek

  • Recommendations for CIOs making the shift to a different industry

    Recommendations for CIOs making the shift to a different industry

    From preparing for the hiring process to excelling in a new industry, IT leaders who have successfully switched to a new industry shed light on what it takes to make the shift.

    Technology today has become the fulcrum for achieving business goals. With enterprises across industries increasingly realizing the value of IT, career opportunities abound for CIOs willing to make the switch from one industry to another. Doing so can provide financial gain, but there are other compelling drivers for IT leaders to make the shift — as well as unique challenges for ensuring success.

    Rajiv Batra, for instance, worked in the telecom industry for over a decade before making the switch to Mumbai-headquartered media and entertainment conglomerate The Times Group, as its Group CIO in 2016.

    “Professionally it’s very satisfying and lends you the confidence that you can manage IT in any business set up,” says Batra, whose telecom work included roles at Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, and MTS as corporate VP and chief architect, president of IT, and CIO, respectively. “Such a move also fortifies a CIO’s standing in the industry as a risk-taker. The level of challenge and the amount of learning that come from working in a new industry are humongous.”

    For Gyan Pandey, who quit the pharmaceutical sector after more than seven years to join consumer durables company Voltas as its chief digital officer, there were both personal and professional reasons.

    “It was difficult to keep shuttling between work as the global and group CIO at Aurobindo Pharma in Hyderabad and my family in Mumbai. Besides, the pharma sector is extremely regulated, which leads to a very slow pace of technology adoption. I was doing lots of proofs-of-concepts, but the actual implementation wasn’t happening. Professionally, I wanted a more fulfilling role, which made me look for other options,” says Pandey.

    Whatever the reasons  personal, professional, or financial  switching industries is never easy. Enterprise IT leaders need to properly weigh the challenges before taking the leap. 

    For those interested in making the shift, here are some important takeaways about winning the new role and quickly making your mark in the new industry from CIOs who have been there and done that.

    Proving you’re ready for the leap

    Each industry has its specific challenges, business goals, and expectations from the CIO, and IT leaders should be prepared to address these through several rounds of high-powered interviews during the hiring process.

    In the fast-moving consumer durables market, parameters such as cost cutting and return on investment (ROI) are important. In February 2022, Nitin Dhingra, heading the digital initiative at two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, joined as chief digital officer at sanitaryware company Hindware. One of the questions he was asked in the interview when he changed his industry was how he delivered ROI on IT projects.

    “It is tough to deliver ROI in the manufacturing industry. I shared a few case studies, which showed how I pulled the plug on certain projects that didn’t meet earlier assumptions. I also communicated how I converted some projects that were delivering moderate results into more successful ones. Responses to such questions automatically reflect not only the candidate’s technical knowledge but also whether he/she is a leader, follower, or somewhere in between,” he says.

    For Vinod Bhat, who spent 28 years in the technology industry at IT services and consulting company TCS before taking over as the CIO of Vistara Airlines in 2021, demonstrating global experience and the ability to handle large implementations were key.

    “You need to articulate how are you different and what do you bring to the table,” says Bhat, whose tenure at TCS enabled him to “work with CXOs of 15 different industries to drive digital transformation in their organizations.”

    In addition, Bhat had the advantage of global exposure. “I have held leadership positions in the US, Europe, Canada, the UK, and APAC geographies for over 15 years, and managed large projects that included taking care of margins, driving business benefits for customers, and ensuring delivery,” he says. “Working in different countries also gave me an understanding of different cultures and enabled me to drive multi-cultural teams.”

    Arvind Singh, chief technology and product officer at real estate company Puravankara, underscores the importance of leveraging your peer network when attempting to shift industries.

    “Before facing the interview, one should understand the profile and structure of the organization, the challenges that the company is facing, and what are the expectations of the leadership from this role,” says Singh, who made the switch to realty after six years in the retail industry. “I spoke to my CIO friends in real estate to understand the business and its challenges. Besides reading the annual reports and whitepapers, I also tried to understand the thought process of the leadership by watching their YouTube videos and interviews in the pink papers.”

    Singh adds that switching his domain after every five years or so also worked in his favor, as it “showed that I am a risk-taker and a go-getter.”

    Addressing the technology gap

    For any new CIO post, organizations often seek candidates experienced with their specific technology stack. IT leaders switching industries may come under a little more scrutiny given the industry leap they are already making. Here, doing your research and emphasizing process are key, says Pandey, who encountered this situation while interviewing for Voltas. At Aurobindo Pharma, he had worked on Oracle ERP whereas Voltas leveraged SAP ERP.

    “It shouldn’t be a problem for any technology leader with 15 to 20 years of experience in convincing the interviewer. Understanding business processes is more important than understanding technology. While implementing various technologies across an organization, seasoned IT leader become a part of every business process. Regular audits, which show gaps in business processes, further help a CIO in enhancing business process effectiveness,” says Pandey.

    To convince Voltas, Pandey took a straightforward approach: “I told them about the various business pain points that I had overcome in the pharma sector, and I was aware of the technologies available in the market that could do the same for their industry also, which I could prove after joining them. The board saw merit in what I said,” he says.

    Strategies for succeeding in a new industry

    Getting hired is only half the battle won. To win the other half, a CIO must adjust to the new industry and start delivering as soon as possible, often within the first 90 days. Here are some strategies that CIOs adopted to prove that they were the right fit for the new industry.  

    Invest time in understanding the business and technology

    Most companies have intensive induction processes, and a new CIO should make the most of this time to get acquainted with the business and technology environments of the organization, Bhat says.

    “I spent the initial settlement period in one-on-one meetings with the top management. This helped me in getting insights into the history of the company’s strategy, projects, and programs,” he says. “Besides getting a grasp on the pain point of business, I also realized the difference in the approach to technology.”

    Whereas TCS had used off-the-shelf mainstream technologies, Vistara Airlines leverages SaaS solutions in a distributed manner, including industry-specific platforms. “The time that I invested listening to people brought me on the same page as the leadership,” says Bhat.

    Dhingra agrees with this approach and says, “The automotive industry has company-owned dealerships that sees exclusive visitors per day. We used to run analytics on the footfalls and get valuable information. However, this strategy could not have worked in Hindware, as the company had a multi-brand store-in-store marketing strategy and witnessed non-exclusive visitors. Spending time to know the dynamics of the business provides a much-needed context to the technology you aim to implement.”

    Similarly, Batra spent the first six to eight weeks getting to know various aspects of The Times Group, including editorial, distribution, sales, and printing. “While in MTS, the expectation was to launch services as-soon-as-possible for the revenue to come in. In The Times Group, the expectations were to take the 180-year-old company from legacy to digital. This could happen only once I had complete understanding of the business to get the core systems in place,” he says.

    Build consensus with the team and business leaders

    For a CIO who shifts from a technologically advanced industry to a legacy industry, there is scope to do a lot. Management, however, may not share the same urgency. CIOs are best advised to build consensus before throw their weight around.

    “At MTS, we were using data lakes, data warehouse, and analyzing millions of customer records on the fly. The billing happened through the CRM. Times Group, on the other hand, didn’t even have a CRM,” says Batra. Rather than impose his plans, Batra decided to demonstrate the value of IT to earn management’s trust. “I went for small wins first before hitting large goals.”

    Within six months of joining, Batra was able to stabilize The Times Group’s basic editorial workflow system. He also sold management on how a CRM could help advertisement sale and customer care. “In serendipity, deploying one helped us in regaining business fast after the pandemic,” he says.

    Having built consensus, Batra then went on to shape bigger projects, including implementing SAP HANA. He also deployed RPA across several departments; transformed the e-paper; and enabled digital payment through touch points that were not available earlier.

    Plan multiple activities with different timelines

    The grace period a CIO switching industries may have doesn’t last forever. “One starts feeling the heat sooner than later,” says Singh, who suggests an agile approach to manage expectations and deliver results fast.  

    “Instead of working on one big project with a big timeline, a CIO should work on several smaller projects in parallel. The aim should be to plan multiple activities with different timelines so that projects go live in a staggered manner and the management sees continuous action from the IT department in terms of process refinement, consolidation, and digital innovation,” he says.

    “When I joined Puravankara, a major ERP transition from Ramco to SAP was already in progress. While I ensured the rollout happened as scheduled, I maximized the time by automating several manual processes, conceptualizing how the entire CX journey could be digitized, and built a roadmap for new technologies such as AI and ML that could be leveraged to draw business insights and predictions,” says Singh.

    Never criticize your predecessor

    In getting up to speed, you may encounter gaps in the IT infrastructure, or find that several important technology implementations are troubled or pending. While it is easy to blame it on the outgoing CIO, one should avoid doing so.

    “The new CIO should realize that the predecessor took those decisions in different circumstances. Maybe the company didn’t consider IT as critical at that time or there could have been a budget squeeze,” says Pandey.

    “Look at the new organization as a clean slate. Draw a list of all critical projects and prioritize them. Understand the budget needed to implement them and sensitize the top management accordingly,” he says.

    And if budget is not allocated immediately? “Consider this as a blessing in disguise because it gives you time to set clear goals and prepare in terms of building the bandwidth for the projects,” Pandey adds.

    Enjoy the role

    Last but not least, IT leaders must be passionate about the new industry and role. A raised salary alone can’t be enough of a motivating factor. There must be a serious inclination to take up the new challenge.

    “I am very passionate about IT. The fast-moving consumer durables sector is growing steadily, and is now gaining momentum towards digital. I saw a lot of work and fulfilment for myself. I could start from scratch and satisfy my passion for building both the enterprise as well as satellite applications,” says Dhingra.

    “The business is already seeing a lot of transformation and IT must enable it to deliver more. This can become possible only when the technology leader enjoys the role and passes on positive vibes to the business and the digital team,” he says.

    Author: Yashvendra Singh

    Source: CIO

  • Recommendations for transitioning your business to a hybrid cloud environment successfully

    Recommendations for transitioning your business to a hybrid cloud environment successfully

    Why move to the cloud, and if you do, how can you do so smoothly? BMC's Bill Talbot, VP for solutions marketing, shares some suggestions for making a successful transition.

    From your perspective, what's driving enterprises to the cloud?

    Bill Talbot: It's simple: efficiency. Enterprise customers are increasingly moving to the cloud because they want to be more agile, accelerate innovation faster, and most importantly to make operations run smoother in general. The cloud has reached the point where it's no longer an emerging category. Instead, it's now part of the mainstream. A recent report by 451 Research found a majority (90%) of organizations surveyed are using a cloud service of some sort. Pointing even further to growing adoption and cloud maturity, 69% of enterprises surveyed planned to work in multicloud and hybrid IT environments this year.

    If the cloud is so beneficial, why should an enterprise not move everything to the cloud? Why should a CIO consider a hybrid environment instead?

    When it comes to adopting the cloud, organizations shouldn't do a complete overhaul and move everything to the cloud. Instead, they should carefully consider their goals and choose specific areas where transitioning to the cloud makes business or technical sense. A hybrid cloud environment enables organizations to balance control and flexibility, meaning enterprises have the option to choose the IT resources they purchase based on what they think is best for the business.

    For example, CIOs should consider the demand or transaction load an application requires. If demand is high and causes big, periodic spikes that require additional resources for short periods, developing a cloud app with auto-scaling services could be the best strategy. On the other hand, if the load is relatively consistent, it may be more cost effective to run it on on-premises resources and reserve operational budget for other needs.

    What are the most important considerations for any CIO thinking about moving their company to a hybrid cloud environment?

    Top considerations are speed to innovation, cost, security, and scale. They must influence the decision to invest in a cloud-based service. CIOs evaluating a potential transition to the cloud must look at it two ways: first, as a business decision and, second, as a technology decision.

    Before committing to the technology, CIOs need to clearly outline their business objectives, implementation plan, timeline, and costs to ensure it's the best option. Beyond this, CIOs need to consider regulatory and compliance guidelines and ensure the cloud services adhere to these requirements. Security is a growing challenge for CIOs as they transfer applications and infrastructure to the public cloud. It's important to understand that as a cloud buyer, you're responsible for securing the cloud services you purchase.

    How does the cloud affect speed to innovation?

    Cloud service providers offer resources and technology services that can take significant time to build or acquire in the data center, such as machine learning algorithms. Cloud services are also more easily accessible, supporting and accelerating agile development processes and digital services to keep businesses innovating at a faster rate. In this time of mass digital transformation, organizations find themselves challenged with growing requests that IT operations simply cannot keep up with in a sustainable, long-term way. With seemingly on-demand cloud services now available, organizations are empowered to accelerate innovation and offer new products and services to customers faster.

    Costs are often touted as a big advantage for moving to the cloud, everything from lower upfront capital expenditures to staff savings. What else should a CIO think about when it comes to costs?

    CIOs now have a choice between spending operational or capital budget and need to consider which is best for their business. Managing operational budgets for cloud services requires new tools and discipline. CIOs should embrace predictive analytics and machine learning tools to forecast and manage their cloud spend and budget. By embracing these technologies, cloud ops teams can anticipate what typical cloud usage and spend will be, and even get alerted if they're tracking beyond their allocated resources.

    CIOs can also leverage these tools to rank cloud projects based on cost, from highest to lowest, which helps them easily identify resources that should be consolidated, or possibly eliminated, to keep costs on target.

    How is scale relevant here? Isn't scale only an important consideration for the largest enterprises?

    Scale is important to any enterprise and on multiple levels. At the macro level, there is the scale or large number and variety of infrastructure resources needed to support the many business services of a large enterprise. On a more micro level, scale also applies to the volume of data collected and processed or analyzed, as well as to growing or erratic changes in demand for a specific application or business service.

    Cloud services can address all of these scenarios. Scalability is also pushing organizations to acquire the right cloud management tools to predict changes that require scale and to understand the costs associated.

    Author: James E. Powell

    Source: TDWI

  • Self-service BI platformen: Domo of Tableau?

    Self-service BI platformen: Domo of Tableau?

    Business intelligence (BI) en analytische platforms zijn al lang een belangrijk onderdeel van het bedrijfsleven, maar dankzij de opkomst van self-service BI-tools is de verantwoordelijkheid voor analyse verschoven van IT naar businessanalisten, met ondersteuning van datawetenschappers en databasebeheerders.

    Als gevolg daarvan is BI veranderd van het genereren van maandelijkse rapportages uit het registratiesysteem, naar het interactief ontdekken en delen van trends, voorspellingen en antwoorden op bedrijfsvragen op basis van gegevens uit verschillende interne en externe bronnen. In plaats van maanden nodig te hebben om een beslissing te nemen, kunnen bedrijven die zelfbedienings-BI hebben geïmplementeerd in een paar dagen tijd een beslissing nemen over de te volgen koers.

    Maar het kan lastig zijn om uit te vinden welk self-service BI-platform geschikt is voor jouw organisatie. De beste pasvorm wordt zowel vanuit het oogpunt van de zakelijke gebruikers als vanuit het oogpunt van jouw IT-infrastructuur bepaald.

    Past het BI-platform bij de vaardigheden van de mensen die het zullen gebruiken? Kunnen jouw mensen het gemakkelijk leren en gebruiken? Maakt het de jobs van analisten gemakkelijker, of creëert het meer barrières dan dat het weghaalt?

    Is het in staat om al jouw interne en externe gegevensbronnen te lezen? Kan je jouw gegevens gemakkelijk opschonen en transformeren binnen het platform? Kan je jouw analyses delen met iedereen in het bedrijf, of alleen met gelicentieerde gebruikers?

    Domo en Tableau zijn twee van de zwaargewichten van self-service BI. Hier bekijken we hoe deze twee platformen zich tot elkaar verhouden, en welke factoren van belang kunnen zijn bij het bepalen welke uw organisatie moet kiezen.

    Domo

    Domo is een online BI-tool die een groot assortiment aan dataverbindingen, een ETL-systeem, een uniforme dataopslag, een grote selectie aan visualisaties, geïntegreerde sociale media en rapportages combineert. Domo beweert meer te zijn dan een BI-tool omdat zijn social media-tool kan leiden tot 'actionable insights', maar in de praktijk leidt elke BI-tool ofwel tot (menselijke) acties die het bedrijf ten goede komen ofwel op de vuilnisbelt belandt.

    Domo is een zeer goed en capabel BI-systeem. Het onderscheidt zich door de ondersteuning van veel databronnen en veel grafiektypes, en de geïntegreerde social media functie is mooi. Domo is echter moeilijker te leren en te gebruiken dan Tableau en andere self-service BI-rivalen. Met bijna $2.000 per gebruiker per jaar voor de Professional Edition ($2.280 voor Enterprise) is het ook duurder dan Tableau.

    Afhankelijk van jouw behoeften is Tableau waarschijnlijk een betere keuze dan Domo.

    Tableau

    Tableau beschrijft zijn producten als het aanbieden van 'analyses die werken zoals u denkt' en zegt dat deze tools gebruik maken van 'het natuurlijke vermogen van mensen om snel visuele patronen te herkennen, waardoor zowel alledaagse mogelijkheden als eureka-momenten worden onthuld'. Daar zit een zekere mate van waarheid in, hoewel je bijna hetzelfde zou kunnen zeggen over veel andere BI-tools.

    De visuele ontdekkingsfase van de analyseworkflow is het sexy gedeelte, maar het is niet waar de meeste mensen het grootste deel van hun tijd doorbrengen. Mijn ervaring is dat het importeren en conditioneren van de gegevens gemakkelijk 80% van de tijd die je met een BI-product doorbrengt kan kosten.

    Nu Tableau cross-database verbindingen kan maken, ben je waarschijnlijk van plan om meerdere gegevensbronnen te importeren en te verbinden, hoewel je misschien de meeste van hen ondergebracht hebt in een datawarehouse, als jouw bedrijf groot (of rijk) genoeg is om er een te hebben.

    Dan zal je jouw gegevens willen filteren en conditioneren op een rij-voor-rij-basis. Tot slot zal je op het punt komen dat je daadwerkelijk kunt beginnen met het maken van visualisaties, hoewel het niet ongebruikelijk is om extra datatransformaties te moeten uitvoeren terwijl je probeert jouw verkenningstocht te doen. Maar dataconditionering en -transformatie zijn in Tableau gemakkelijk te realiseren, zeker net zo gemakkelijk als in Excel. Het is niet nodig om terug te gaan naar de importfase om berekende velden toe te voegen of de gegevens te filteren.

    Visuele ontdekking in Tableau is krachtig en Tableau heeft de lat hoog gelegd voor de eenvoudig te gebruiken implementatie en fijne controle van de grafiekweergave. Je bouwt een Tableau visualisatie op door te klikken op de afmetingen (meestal discrete categorieën of kenmerken) en maatregelen (numerieke waarden) die van belang zijn, en je kiest zelf een markering (het type weergave, zoals balken, lijnen en punten), of met behulp van de automatische markeringsselectie, of met behulp van de 'toon mij' methode voor het selecteren van de visualisatie.

    Voor meer controle kan je afmetingen en maten slepen op specifieke markeringseigenschappen of 'shelves'. Als je begrijpt wat er in jouw analyse gebeurt, kan je dashboards en verhalen met anderen delen. Dat kan eenvoudig worden gedaan door te publiceren naar Tableau Server of Tableau Online, of je nu in Tableau Desktop hebt gewerkt en moet uploaden, of dat je jouw data analyse al online aan het doen was.

    De prijs van Tableau is iets vriendelijker dan Domo en biedt drie verschillende gebruikerslicenties aan op basis van hoe zwaar het gebruik ervan naar verwachting van elke gebruiker zal zijn. Tableau Server: $70 (Creator), $35 (Explorer), $12 (Viewer) per gebruiker per maand; Tableau Online: $70 (Creator), $42 (Explorer), $15 (Viewer) per gebruiker per maand.

    Auteur: Martin Heller

    Bron: CIO

  • Ten ways to drive value from big data

    bigstock-Big-data-concept-in-word-tag-c-49922318Just think what $48 billion could buy. In the private sector, that could buy a lot of R&D and innovation; the lifeblood of a successful and growing economy. In the public sector, think of the boost it could give to education, healthcare and defence.

    What is that figure and why is it relevant?

    According to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, that is the sum of money the Australian economy left on the table last year and wasted due to its inability to fully leverage the potential of data-driven innovation.

    $48bn: that’s the equivalent of 4.4 per cent of gross domestic product and about the same as the entire (and struggling) Australian retail industry.

    Little wonder that big data is top of the CIO priority list on almost every report you read. So why then do people still question the value of big data?

    The challenge is that, while the principle of getting value out of all the data that is now available in the world in order to gain new insight, better serve customers and find new markets seems simple, doing so is actually hard in practice.

    How do you realise commercial value from your data and not end up on a hunt for fool’s gold?

    1. Realise you’re on a journey

    When you begin to seek value from big data you will need a healthy degree of realism. It is hard to get to a revenue stream right away. More likely it will be a journey, starting with projects that add value to the existing business before arriving at opportunities that create whole new revenue streams.

    A good starting point is to leverage how you already make money. Consider your current revenue streams and how you could approach them differently to add new value, and what insights will be required to achieve that.

    2. Do you have the right team

    It is common to get caught up in the excitement of big ideas, but are you ready for it? It’s not to say the concept won’t become reality, but in many instances, it may become apparent that you are six-12 months away from it becoming viable.

    From experience, those companies that have gone at projects too early have failed to realise the value, and then stalled in their big data activities as a whole due to the failure, or have given the idea away in their attempts. A key element of being ready is having the right team in place; that is tenacious, will persist in the face of various obstacles, brave enough to take the initiative, and inventive being able to create new value from data.

    3. Selling your data could be like selling your soul

    As big data skills are in short supply, some companies decide to sell their data and achieve revenue from it that way. Unless you understand how you could monetise your data yourself, you are at risk of commoditising your own information.

    Before you go this route, focus on figuring out how your data can augment your unique value proposition, and don’t give up on creating new value from your data just because the first experiment doesn’t work. Also be aware of the potential risks of selling your data or the insights into it. These include issues around the security of the data once it is no longer under your control, the chance of re-identification of anonymised information, and the potential impact on your reputation if it is used for unintended purposes.

    4. Is there a wider ecosystem you could be part of?

    There are, however, increasing instances of companies and industries collaborating around, or selling data. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry we have seen organisations working as a consortium around the creation of new data sets from clinical research, as a way to overcome the prohibitive cost they would have faced doing it alone.

    The advice here would be not to rule options out — especially if they might enable you to do things with data that you couldn’t do before, and as a result, move up the value chain or closer to the end consumer.

    5. Don’t chase fool’s gold

    Use data, and especially social data, wisely. While providing great insight into the digital DNA of customer decision making, developing accurate models for sentiment analysis is hard, due to the large amount of false positives that exist.

    The nature of social means that many companies, at any time of the day or night, can have somebody saying something negative about them. How do you know when is this out of the norm?

    This level of understanding is something that often develops over time, and is an enrichment and maturity process in your analytics. Get it right and you can make money by developing an understanding of the soft signals, but unless you have a historic wealth of data in that area, gaining that sort of intelligence is hard to come by.

    6. Understand the customer contract

    You need to know what your trust relationship is with your audience. At the advent of the concept of 1-1 marketing, the customer understood the idea that by giving a bit more information they could get a more personalised treatment — and they didn’t mind it.

    However, with the arrival of big data, some customers feel that companies are going too far in collecting and using intimate details gathered without their prior permission. It also depends on the company.

    Customers expect the likes of Google and Shazam to use data to make recommendations. You just need to understand where the line needs to be drawn.

    7. Realise the goalposts are always shifting

    Change is inevitable and rapid. Your key competitors today may well be superseded by companies you never dreamt would fit in your market. However, it’s not all about the big guys. The internet of Things is going to be a great leveller, particularly in the field of ‘controls’ which is enabling new, smaller players to nip in and seize customer data and ownership. This is giving them the power to disintermediate traditional providers.

    8.Be prepared to unlearn

    In some cases you might find that the data shows that your assumptions are incorrect or that your activity is not the success you hoped it would be.

    For example, many companies seek to make money from content, but analysis shows it is a highly crowded market and there is little money in it other than for the likes of Google and Facebook.

    Companies need to understand what the implication is for their business. Does content add value to your customers, is it expected by your customers? Rather than there being money in the content itself, is there value that can be derived from better understanding the digital signature of your end users in being able to see what caused someone to click on an ad or what sort of people are visiting your website?

    9. Don’t confuse perfection with monetisation

    This is extremely important. When programmers and IT people talk about data, they often talk about perfection because we are very deterministic. We want to say ‘if this, then that’; if you get this data, then you will achieve exactly that result.

    It is hard to achieve perfection. Consider s case where you find you can cut the cost of a process by 30 per cent in a relatively short time frame. Or you might have the potential to cut your costs by double that, but it would most likely take you several years. Is the wait worth the lost opportunity cost? In a big data world, the best practice approach would be to experiment — try something and iteratively improve it instead of trying to get perfection out of the gate.

    10. Remember, David doesn’t always beat Goliath

    while new entrants can outmanoeuvre established organisations, most often David doesn’t beat Goliath. In fact, as often, the incumbent can use data to create barriers to entry, due to the fact that they have a significant advantage from the large volumes of historic customer information and transactional data they hold.

    However, to realise the benefit, established operations need to digitise or datify all of this information before their rivals do, and potentially seek out new data streams to compliment what they already have.

    For new entrants, many of the key business opportunities exist where there is a breakdown in a process or supply chain in an area that really matters to the customer — think Uber or Airbnb. Look for what is ‘broken’ in areas that are not already heavily digitised.

    The reality is that there is a whole range of data out there, offering new ways to get insights, drive value and compete. It is essential that you understand the potential and get excited about the opportunity. Think really broadly about the data that is out there, both inside and outside of the organisation, see what there is that could add value, without ending up on a hunt for fool’s gold.

    Source: The Australian Business review

  • Welke vaardigheden maken een CIO succesvol?

    Welke vaardigheden maken een CIO succesvol?

    De best presterende CIO’s richten zich meer op leiderschap, klantdoelen, werknemers en andere bedrijfsfuncties, dan op technologie. Dit blijkt uit onderzoek van ServiceNow. Invloed in de boardroom, focus op klanten en digitale workflows zijn sleutels tot succes.

    Een wereldwijd onderzoek onder 516 CIO’s, waarvan 328 uit Europa, uitgevoerd door Oxford Economics, brengt de belangrijkste vaardigheden van de moderne CIO in kaart. Jarenlang richtten CIO’s zich voornamelijk op IT, maar het onderzoek toont aan dat 63% van de CIO’s gelooft dat business- en leiderschapsvaardigheden belangrijker zijn dan technologische kennis, de meest succesvolle CIO’s zijn degenen die zichzelf als visionairs positioneren.
     
    Een vijfde van de CIO’s die zegt te voldoen aan de belangrijkste CIO-vaardigheden, onderscheidt zich op drie punten van de rest:

    • Ze lopen voorop als het gaat om het digitaliseren van workflows
    • Ze hebben invloed in de boardroom
    • Ze hebben een externe focus op klanten

    De best presterende CIO’s richten zich op strategie in plaats van processen en op het koppelen van IT-doelstellingen met bedrijfsdoelstellingen. Deze CIO’s rapporteren meer productiviteit, innovatie en klanttevredenheid binnen hun organisatie en hebben de beste relatie met andere leiders, in het bijzonder met de CEO en de chief human resources officer (CHRO).
    De CIO’s zijn het erover eens dat samenwerkingen en teamoverstijgende projecten op directieniveau een belangrijk onderdeel zijn van hun rol: 

    • 64% van de CIO’s is van mening dat ze andere directieleden moeten onderwijzen over digitale technologieën
    • 69% zegt dat een samenwerking met de CEO om plannen te maken voor de organisatie, cruciaal is voor hun rol
    • 77% van de CIO’s zegt dat samenwerken met de CHRO rondom talentstrategieën een van hun belangrijkste verantwoordelijkheden is

    Digitale workflows

    Vanuit technologisch perspectief zijn de meest succesvolle CIO’s bezig met het automatiseren en integreren van werkprocessen, en het introduceren van digitale workflows om resultaten te verbeteren. Ze weten hoe belangrijk digitale workflows zijn voor het verbeteren van efficiëntie (80%), financiële prestaties (78%), productiviteit (78%), werknemersprestaties (76%) en innovatie (75%). 'Omdat technologie een cruciale succesfactor wordt voor bedrijven, zijn de verwachtingen van de CIO exponentieel gegroeid', zegt Chris Pope, VP Innovation, ServiceNow. 'In het verleden was de CIO de belangrijkste techneut binnen de organisatie, maar tegenwoordig zijn de meest succesvolle CIO’s de thought leaders, innovators en visionairs. CIO’s hebben de mogelijkheid om het voortouw te nemen bij de transformatie van hun bedrijf. Het uitbouwen van invloed in de boardroom, de externe focus op medewerker- en klantervaringen en het veranderen van processen door het digitaliseren van workflows, zijn essentieel om goed te kunnen presteren'.

    Onderzoeksmethodologie

    De onafhankelijke, wereldwijde enquête onder 516 CIO’s (waarvan 328 Europese CIO’s) in 11 landen en 24 sectoren, is uitgevoerd door Oxford Economics. Het onderzoek werd uitgevoerd door middel van computer-geassisteerde interviews (CATI), waarbij respondenten anonimiteit werd gegarandeerd, vragen konden stellen en demografische informatie konden bevestigen. De onderzochte landen zijn: Nederland, Verenigde Staten, Verenigd Koninkrijk, Australië / Nieuw-Zeeland, Duitsland, Frankrijk, Italië, Spanje, Japan en Singapore.

    Bron: BI platform

  • Why agile IT will help organizations to overcome challenges

    Why agile IT will help organizations to overcome challenges

    Chief information officers’ focus should move to promoting a culture of agile thinking within IT and putting the priority on product-oriented projects.

    Speed and agility are key components of two central business challenges organizations face today: change and innovation.

    Meanwhile, there is an intensifying need to deliver continuous value, which has led to more and more pressure for overhauling IT for speed and agility. By responding quickly to these changes, chief information officers will be better able to adapt, with technology serving as a core element of the adaptation process.

    Ultimately, streamlining has the potential to improve employee performance by removing barriers and allowing teams to self-serve both within and outside IT with focus on outcomes. This means CIOs need to embrace Agile methodologies and bring everyone on board as a first step, which requires upscaling IT teams and engaging the business.

    Once the formal and informal mechanisms supporting those Agile practices are deployed, CIOs can start thinking about additional elements to streamline the delivery process.

    Deploying Agile Methodologies

    “Today, traditional IT project delivery is not fit for purpose,” says Antonio Vázquez, CIO at Bizagi. “These delivery models are far from new, Agile methodologies deployed through product-based delivery models.”

    He explains that these new delivery models are based on the minimum viable product (MVP) concept, which changes the whole concept of software development and relationships with business stakeholders.

    Vázquez adds that business requirements are gathered in a completely different way, initial deliverables are soon released, and the final product can be improved overtime. “That brings massive speed and agility to IT and the business through smaller functional pieces, faster testing and correction cycles and shorter deployments, among other benefits,” he says.

    For example, the cloud is one of the key enablers for fast and scalable deployments as is the use of low-code platforms and citizen developer programs which can improve communication with stakeholders and delivery speed.

    Moreover, automation can replace manual processes and free up resources, the use of DevSecOps allows infrastructure and security to be included in the product delivery by design, and open innovation platforms can facilitate the innovation process.

    Pressure to Streamline Building Externally, and Internally

    “Streamlining IT for agility is critical to business, and there’s not only external pressure to do so, but also internal pressure,” says Stanley Huang, co-founder and CTO at Moxo. “This is because streamlining IT plays a strategic role in the overall business operations from C-level executives to every employee's daily efforts.”

    He says that the streamlining of business processes is the best and most efficient way to reflect business status and driving power for each departmental planning.

    From an external standpoint, there is pressure to streamline IT because it also impacts the customer experience. “A connected and fully aligned cross-team interface is essential to serve the customer and make a consistent end user experience,” he adds.

    For business opportunities pertaining to task allocation and tracking, streamlining IT can help align internal departments into one overall business picture and enable employees to perform their jobs at a higher level.

    “When the IT system owns the source of data for business opportunities and every team’s involvement, cross team alignment can be streamlined and made without back-and-forth communications,” Huang says. “This creates full transparency on progress, overdue items, customer status, etc. so that teams can adjust resources and plan in real time.”

    Steve Watt, CIO at Hyland, says that for a CIO to streamline IT they first need to ensure their business stakeholders are up to speed on how their execution in that framework will function and where they will fit into that process.

    “This way, CIOs can have more accurate budget planning to have a full understanding of the costs involved in the situation and avoid wasted time and effort ensuring alignment with leaders,” he says.

    He explains that in the past, IT was often seen as the beginning and the end of digital initiatives, responsible for the selection, implementation, and ongoing support of all technology platforms. “That won’t scale today and stifles business; increasingly, a large population of employees that are technologists are embedded in the business,” he says.

    In turn, shifting to product-based delivery will help guide and coach the business in their use of technology and empower them to be able to drive their own processes without IT being the bottleneck to the speed at which they need to do business.

    Multiple Challenges to Streamlining IT

    From Huang’s perspective, there are two main challenges experienced as they relate to streamlining IT for agility. One is understanding every aspect of the business lifecycle in-depth from analyzing patterns to identifying bottlenecks. “From there, it’s necessary to choose a vendor and services, which can be overwhelming due to the vast number of technologies available in the market,” Huang says.

    Another challenge is defining the business’s own IT strategy based on target goals. “It’s necessary to be creative and foresee how your business can be digitized and transformed, as well as planning ahead accordingly and understanding the impact of streamlining IT operations on your business,” he says.

    Vázquez notes that additional challenges include the funding of traditional projects, which needs to be adapted to Agile delivery, while timing, schedules and resource allocation need to be adjusted and communicated across the organization

    “The concept of success is different in a traditional project and an Agile project with an MVP,” he says. “Project teams need to be resized and upscaled, and priorities must be addressed in a different way, as well as business requirements mapping, which requires a large amount of transparency.”

    Vázquez called these all “deep changes” that must be addressed, refined, communicated, and rewarded across the organization.

    Trying New Vendors, Maintaining Engagement Levels

    Huang advises that a deep analysis of the business’ current situation from multiple perspectives, including how streamlining IT efforts will impact the service model, team structure, execution capabilities and customer retention situation.

    From there, it’s critical to analyze which strategy for streamlining IT is best suited for business needs.

    “Be open to some new vendors, which may just recently be available in the market,” he suggests.

    He notes that the past several years has been the most active time for IT vendors to evolve, and many revolutionary solutions are just recently available to fit the latest business environment. “Being open to newer players in the space can present your business the chance to find some new ideas from them,” he says.

    Hyland’s Watt notes that it's important that all parties are on the same page of what needs to be done to create a better process for everyone.

    In product-aligned, Agile teams in IT, the product manager or owner roles can and should come from knowledgeable SMEs in the business units that align and support the “product” of each team. He says this level of engagement might come naturally to some departments within and organization and for others they may need extra coaching.

    “Ensuring this level of engagement provides clarity to the business and the product team on what is most important,” he says. “This way, IT teams can focus their efforts on high-value outcomes and waste less time prioritizing or rationalizing the work that needs to be done.”

    Author: Nathan Eddy

    Source: InformationWeek

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