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
8/3/2014 | 12:27:46 AM
Re: CDO turf
yes, it like way of nature, as nothing with technology stays the same... but knowing or knowledge is power... How I see it...
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 9:21:11 PM
Re: CDO turf
StaceyE, you are right. Ability to unlearn is even difficult that learning something in the first place and people who are able to learn that skill, higher managers are ready to offer them new roles.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 9:14:45 PM
Re: CDO turf
Ashish, there aren't many. However, I work for an organization where ownership has no involvement in management. All they do is attend quarterly board of governance meetings and that's it. 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 4:05:42 PM
Re: CDO turf
Waqas,

Is'nt that easier said than Done?

How many Owners have you met who have an Off-Hand Attitude?

You know just Hire a Good Professional Manager and then Step Back.

Its so so tough to get these kind of Owners.I am sure they are there but they are just hard to find in real life.

 
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 3:25:49 PM
Re: CDO turf
Ashish, true. Large corporations cannot effectively run unless they have decision makers other than the owners. Owners just need to ensure that decision makers are capable and they understand owners' objectives.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/31/2014 | 10:05:00 AM
Re: CDO turf
@ Batye

Change is inevitable. If a person can't roll with the changes they won't get far. You still see people that are set in their ways in the workforce, but they are usually the ones staying in the same place and never moving up the ladder.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/31/2014 | 10:02:44 AM
Re: CDO turf
@ Batye

Yes, you always have to plan for the unexpected. If you don't acknowledge in the beginning of the project that there will be unforeseen challenges along the way, the project could be doomed for failure from the get-go.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 12:21:24 PM
Re: CDO turf
Susan,

You have to look far and Wide to find a CEO in America who is Grounded.

Like this one

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-24/burger-kings-ceo-daniel-schwartz-is-33-years-old

I am not saying he's perfect but he seems to be made of the right stuff and seems to be delivering Results (without too many Complaints from Franchisees).

In Asia,the Problem is very different.

I have seen so many CEOs who are as Ostentatious as their Counterparts in the US.

The Difference though is that a lot of their Wealth is usually Hidden and they are'nt very transparent about it.

But even that culture is changing as People become more Bling-focussed (As a Result crime is going up).

Regards

Ashish.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 12:03:22 PM
Re: CDO turf
SusanN,

Very-Very True.

You need the right balance at the end of the day(Between Extroverts and Introverts).

If you lean just one way or the other(can You imagine how crazy an Organization loaded with just Introverts would be???);The Organization won't have a sustainable and realistic culture in place.

There is a strong possibility such a company won't last the distance.

Regards

Ashish.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 11:42:04 AM
Re: CDO turf
Waqas,

As an IT Consultant who has to deal with these kind of companies regularly;I will agree and disagree with your statement at the sametime.

Because these companies are constantly pressed for Resources and time;every single Employee matters a lot for them.

The Big problem though tends to happen when Owners try to do everything themselves(rather than Delegating effectively).

In that sceanario;where most Employees don't feel the Trust factor (that is so so essential to getting things done) things can get(and do get) Ugly very quickly.

Regards

Ashish.
<<   <   Page 2 / 11   >   >>
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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