Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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6/5/2014
03:20 PM
Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata
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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.

make two important new friends in the business: the chief digital officer and the chief marketing officer.

If you're the CIO of a company with a CDO, invite that person out to lunch as soon as you're done reading this (assuming that you're not already lunch buddies). If your company doesn't have someone in the CDO role, do all you can to lead the digital charge before it appoints someone else. Tanya Cordrey, CDO for London-based Guardian News & Media, participated in the CIO Symposium session with Westerman. She said her role on the executive team is meant to be "that little bit of grit in the oyster to make sure we never lose our emphasis on moving forward."

According to Cordrey:

Our approach to digital transformation was dropping a pebble in a pond, and that pebble was the formation of my team. We are building a world-class digital team that would not look out of place at Google or in Silicon Valley. Building out those disciplines was a very clear signal to the rest of the organization that we were going to move forward, and that we had a critical mass of people who were going to drive that transformation forward. Everybody who works at the Guardian has to be digital.

F. Thaddeus Arroyo, CIO of AT&T Services, who also spoke during the session, got out ahead of the CDO trend. The corporate-wide CDO at AT&T Services reports to him. If your CDO reports directly to the CEO, it's even more critical that you become allies.

Outside of IT, the most digital savvy part of your organization is likely your marketing department. Its members have been working on customer-facing digital initiatives for years, either with or without the CIO's involvement.

Advising CIOs to befriend the CMO isn’t a new concept, but it's easier said than done. Plenty of cultural barriers remain. The two organizations are still jostling for technology budgets.

Arroyo takes a different approach to the budget conundrum. "I like to look at every budget as a digital budget," he said. "As you're using digital technologies to enhance the top line, you can afford to drive incremental investment. As you make those cases, and you're facing disruption in your industry, many of your technology budgets will continue to grow as long as you can prove business value."

Added Westerman: "The great CIOs are not only about spending IT money well. They're good at helping the business spend money well. The better you get at managing technology, the more appetite the organization has for spending on technology, because they see the results."

Who are your best friends at your enterprise? Have you faced hurdles in working with the CMO and marketing department? Does your company have a CDO, or do you think it needs one? Tell us in the comments section below.

Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators. Read our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue today.

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
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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 4:03:17 PM
Re: CDO turf
@tjgkg: Sadly in most organizations that is the case, and those who do get things accomplished oftentimes get overlooked or not credited with it. This is also, in part, due to the fact that our business culture in the U.S. tends to reward the extrovert over the introvert. I'm reading a fascinating book on this topic right now, called "Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking." I highly recommend! It discusses the challenges that introverts face in climbing the corporate ladder, among many other eye-opening topics related to what our business culture is all about. All we need to do is look at the flaming that Apple's Tim Cook is getting to see just how difficult it is to not fit the mold in today's corporate environment.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:59:06 PM
Re: CDO turf
@WaqasAtlaf: lack of persistence is spot on, and I would add that with so many shifting priorities in an organization, it becomes very difficult for many people to keep their eyes on the endgame and fully execute.

That's certainly been my experience, when I look back at great ideas that never saw the light of day. More often than not, it was because I had too many conflicting priorities and immediate, hair-on-fire deadlines, and so anything that was not crucial got pushed to the back burner, or pushed off the stove entirely.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:56:11 PM
Re: CDO turf
@H-H: Ah, such a good question! The best that a person can do, I think, is to try not to take anything personally, understand as best as possible what is motivating all the players, and be honest and forthcoming with all parties. It may end up backfiring on you, but at least you can go home and look yourself in the mirror at night! And, if the political situation in the organization is truly  toxic, I would suggest finding another place to work if at all possible.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:53:46 PM
Re: Digital Master definition
@kstaron: Based on my understanding of the MIT research, and seeing Westerman discuss the findings at the CIO Symposium, what you describe would not qualify a company as a digital master according to their definitions. The top-down, holistic approach is truly key, I think, in terms of embedding a tech-forward approach into an organization's DNA. It doesn't mean that digital innovation can't bubble up from diffferent busienss or tech unitis within the company. Quite the contrary, in fact, a company that is considered a digital master would have a structure that allows and encourages digital innovation to come from all corners of the organization. The difference is that the senior management embraces and supports this, both culturally and financially.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:50:24 PM
Re: CDO turf
@SaneIT: That's exactly the kind of attitude I'd love to see more of in business. Your teams are lucky to have you, and I do hope that you are able to achieve your career goals. In the meantime, perhaps you can provide some executive coaching to others who are in the higher positions and don't grasp -- or have forgotten -- the very basic edict we all have learned from childhood: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

 
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 6:24:11 AM
Re: Amazing
The digital era has simplified a lot of work in different fields including government cooperation's, educational institutions and health care organizations. CDO and CMO partnering up with CIO will make work much faster and effective in the eventual long run. Companies are only left with the responsibility of investing in technology that will advance the company and bring about profits. This technology should also be properly and to be effective.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 6:44:11 PM
Re: CDO turf
I wish that inspiring and leading were at the top a C-levels to-do lists however it is not. It isn't even on their radar in most companies. In fact in many companies you cannot even approach them unless you go through the chain of command. To me most of them are just politicians who are looking out for their own skin and glory. You are correct when you say the doers will find a way around them to get things done. I think that is the rule these days.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 1:22:31 PM
Re: CDO turf
Susan

"why do you think it is that so many organizations struggle so much with execution and implementation?"

Lack of persistence. People start off with things but cannot keep their focus on the tasks and monitor each and every aspect of it regularly. That is where things go wrong.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 1:04:31 PM
Re: CDO turf
Angelfuego, yes. Determination is the biggest skill in my opinion. The lack of follow-up is the factor which often results in failure to achieve the desired objectives.
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/24/2014 | 11:26:33 AM
Re: CDO turf
@tjgkg

If C-level positions can inspire and lead the folk that actually do things, they have a useful position in the enterprise. It's obvious enough to be valid.

But if they don't do that, the doers will find a way around them to get things done.
<<   <   Page 7 / 11   >   >>
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