Global CIO: Even Oracle & SAP Agree: The Tactical CIO Is Dead - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
5/4/2010
06:39 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

Global CIO: Even Oracle & SAP Agree: The Tactical CIO Is Dead

Top execs from the two enterprise-software powerhouses say CIOs must lead growth, transformation, and business impact.

Compared to the locked-cage death-matches in which Oracle and SAP often find themselves, lots of otherwise intense IT-industry competition seems almost ho-hum by comparison. So when those two companies agree on something, it's usually worthwhile to see what's behind that singular harmonic convergence.

In this case, that most-uncommon common ground has to do with the strategic priorities and career prospects for the chief information officers who have traditionally been the primary customers and points of contact for both SAP and Oracle. The operative word there is "traditionally" because while many CIOs will remain intensely engaged with those strategic IT vendors, the business impact and revenue-side potential of enterprise software decisions and deployments have become so vital to big companies' ability to innovate and accelerate and compete that both SAP and Oracle are targeting CEOs and other non-tech executives more than ever before.

That's particularly true here in mid-2010 as CEOs, while still dearly mindful of the need for cost control, are focusing enormous energy on rekindling and accelerating growth opportunities, and are leaning hard on IT's potential to make major contributions to that top-priority effort.

So, for CIOs accustomed to leading with growth and following with technical attributes, this is a welcome and eagerly anticipated step forward. But this same development will simultaneously end the careers of those CIOs who, by inclination or discomfort or simple lack of business acumen, have failed to embrace their roles as broad-based business leaders and have instead hunkered down in technology discussions, technology debates, technology evaluations, technology priorities, and, ultimately, technology myopia.

But hey—don't take my word for it; you can hear it directly from Oracle president Charles Phillips and SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott.

Let's start with this comment from McDermott in a phone conversation last week after SAP announced its quarterly earnings, and you can read more on McDermott's perspectives in our recent column called Global CIO: Inside SAP: 10 Factors Behind Its Dramatic Turnaround. I asked McDermott to discuss the primary issue customer CEOs tell him SAP must address:

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

"Growth. They need to grow—every company we talk to says that," McDermott said. "And the higher you go in the organization, the more you see that growth is back on the agenda and is the major topic of discussion. Everyone is looking to create the right plan or agenda to grow, sometimes directly in the industry they're in, and sometimes out into new businesses, sometimes within their own established ecosystem or sometimes out."

McDermott then spoke bluntly about the stepped-up role CIOs have to play if they want to be a part of those growth initiatives:

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
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.
Flash Poll