Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
Commentary
6/5/2014
03:20 PM
Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

The CIO's 2 New BFFs

Now that business is digital at its core, it's time to buddy up with the CDO and CMO.

Is your business digital? A better question to ask is: Which part of your business isn't digital? Most organizations -- whether they are corporations, government agencies, healthcare organizations, or educational institutions -- are now digital at the core, including their interactions with customers.

Still not convinced? Here's what George Westerman, a researcher at the MIT Center for Digital Excellence, had to say about the companies that his research has found to be "digital masters." For them, "technology is not technology. It's an opportunity to rethink the processes of how they do business."

[Lets not forget the question of corporate culture. Read Geeks Versus Jocks: CIOs, Beware Your Culture.]

He discussed his team's research during a panel session on business transformation at last month's MIT Sloan CIO Symposium in Boston. "Digital masters all have a common approach to managing digital and are 26% more profitable than their peers," he said. "They lead differently. For all the talk we've seen [advising us to] 'let innovation happen around your organization,' these leaders drive transformation from the top down."

Westerman and his research partners identify companies as digital masters if they meet the following two criteria:

  • They invest in technology with the viewpoint that it represents an opportunity to transform their business, and they have leaders who are proactive about finding ways to use digital technology to benefit all aspects of the business.
  • They drive technology innovation across all business departments, marrying a clear digital vision with a strong governance foundation, preparing the company to change, and seeing that change through.

He gave some examples in a prepared statement, citing Nike, Caesar's Entertainment, and Chilean mining company Codelco as digital masters:

[Nike] is end-to-end digital, from supply chain to design and marketing. It combines custom-designed social media with a digital supply chain. By creating its Nike Digital Sport group, Nike linked all of these functions together, and the company is able to launch more products, customize products, test new designs, and customize advertising to a highly personal level. Within a Caesar's venue, customers are supplied with a concierge on their personal phones that immediately responds to any need, perceived or actual. And the largest copper company in the world, Codelco, is using digital technology both to track production in its copper mines and to update customers about orders. Digital technology also allows Codelco to use driverless mining trucks, and it may even help increase production while minimizing the volume of human activity underground and corresponding safety concerns.

According to a report released earlier this year by Forrester Research, the "biggest test on the road to becoming a digital business is convincing senior management that it's worth the effort. Only one in six of the 1,254 global business execs surveyed by Forrester said his or her company has the competencies to execute a digital strategy.

Indeed, as he noted during the MIT CIO Symposium, "If you think of your organization as a caterpillar, then digital should turn you into a butterfly." The problem, he said, is that many of the businesses his group has studied "are using digital to turn themselves into really fast caterpillars."

What does all this mean for CIOs? For one thing, it's time to

Next Page

Susan Nunziata works closely with the site's content team and contributors to guide topics, direct strategies, and pursue new ideas, all in the interest of sharing practicable insights with our community. Nunziata was most recently Director of Editorial for ... View Full Bio
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 12   >   >>
WaqasAltaf
50%
50%
WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2014 | 9:48:20 PM
Re: CDO turf
StaceyE, key here is to also not to lose sight of the bigger picture and not to lose sight of the current tasks in hand in the curiousity of learning new things.
StaceyE
50%
50%
StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/30/2014 | 2:18:25 PM
Re: CDO turf
@ Waqas

I absolutely agree with you adaptability and consistency are key to success. One must always be open to new learning opportunities and be willing to try new approaches to the way things are done.
WaqasAltaf
50%
50%
WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
9/21/2014 | 2:05:12 AM
Re: CDO turf
StaceyE, but this is how one has to operate and learn how to be flexible when learning diverse areas. How to keep a balance between adaptibility (being open to learning diverse opportunities) and consistency (working continuously on the core area without being distracted to other areas principally) is the key. 
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
9/10/2014 | 12:10:32 AM
Re: CDO turf
@StaceyE - Thank you, but I think in reality things do gonna happens one way or other... it just way of our existance :( reality ...
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
9/10/2014 | 12:06:44 AM
Re: CDO turf
@StaceyE it no other way how I see it... it like never ending process of life in IT :)
StaceyE
50%
50%
StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2014 | 5:09:20 PM
Re: CDO turf
Good point. Even if its impossible to be prepared for every scenario, if you understand that anything can happen than you are ahead of the game. Expecting it and understanding it can happen are half the battle. The other half is how you handle the unexpectd when it really finally happens.
StaceyE
50%
50%
StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2014 | 5:07:04 PM
Re: CDO turf
You're right, knowledge is power. While it is challenging to stay hip to the new technology it is important to at least try.
StaceyE
50%
50%
StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2014 | 5:05:32 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Waqas

Very good point! When you are accustomed to doing something one way it is difficult to scrap what you have been doing and start using another process.
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2014 | 8:45:45 PM
Re: CDO turf
yes, agree :), as everyone wants best employees
WaqasAltaf
50%
50%
WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2014 | 10:54:33 AM
Re: CDO turf
Batye, well not all companies' boards are ignorant about human resources side of the company. They want staff that is competant and willing to learn new stuff. A staff that expects diverse learning opportunities usually remains motivated.
Page 1 / 12   >   >>
Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Trying to meet today’s business technology needs with yesterday’s IT organizational structure is like driving a Model T at the Indy 500. Time for a reset.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.