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.

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

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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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batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:42:03 PM
Re: CDO turf
I think we need to look from the point... finding, groming and ability of keeping talents in the Co.... as Education and right credentials not always equal right person for a job... how I see it...
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:39:48 PM
Re: CDO turf
interesting, but in my books other factors in play should not be overlooked... as a lot of the factors depends on the corp. envr. and office politics in play...
batye
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50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:38:02 PM
Re: CDO turf
let agree to disagree... as simple solution is not always right fit... it depends on the problem... or how complex is the problem at hand... 
batye
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50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:34:35 PM
Re: CDO turf
could not agree more, proper planing and prepartion is a must in any case... plus investment in the training upgrades.... better safe than sorry... even with human factor...how I see it...
batye
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50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:33:12 PM
Re: CDO turf
everything changing even names for CEO's... as with changes in technology, changes happening in Corporate lader....
batye
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50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 6:30:59 PM
Re: CDO turf
yes, same here, but even with a lot of the planings things never goes as planned... I always say to my boss be prepared for everything goes wrong way.... not as expected... do we have a plan...
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 3:58:31 PM
Re: CDO turf
I agree with you it is very hard and takes a lot of planning to implement new things without changing operations...
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 2:45:09 PM
Re: CDO turf
I agree with you, SaneIT.

 

I had never heard of a CDO before, and I am of the same opinion; the CIO bucket. How many more C's can they add to the suite?
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 7:22:17 AM
Re: CDO turf
I won't call all C level or middle managers flab and I will be careful about saying you could fire management and not affect production.  A good manager will free up employees to do their jobs more efficiently and will inspire them to great things.  If you cut that manager in the name of reducing redundancies then you'll probably regret it.  I just see a bubble forming at the executive level the way we saw a bubble around middle management a decade or so ago.  Companies have to be careful when they are defining positions.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 7:13:55 AM
Re: CDO turf
I think for some people this is a natural tendency but for others who don't feel threatened then the feeling is more of a supporting nature.  I know I can't do everything by my self so I make sure I have people around who can fill the gaps or cover for me when I'm gone.  I know that if an employer doesn't want me around there are not a lot of obstacles in their way to get rid of me so being hard to work with and giving them one more reason is just a bad idea.
<<   <   Page 5 / 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.
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