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Global CIO: How Do You Match Up Against 50 Of The World's Top CIOs?

The global economic downturn is accelerating the evolution of the CIO position, requiring CIOs to be more business-driven, customer-focused, and accountable for growth.

From around the globe, the Global CIO 50 -- some of the world's most innovative and dynamic business technology leaders -- are pursuing a range of initiatives that differ greatly from company to company and industry to industry. But for all of their differences, the members of our Global CIO 50 have found common ground in making IT an externally directed force focused on growth, customers, on market-facing leadership.

Out of that list of 50 brilliant CIOs, I've listed 10 and offered a related question with each one against which you can benchmark yourself. How do your priorities match up with these members of the Global CIO 50?

  • Jai Menon is group CIO for India's Bharti Enterprises, a conglomerate whose business units are in such fields as wireless communications, retail, insurance, and agriculture. For the wireless unit, called Bharti Airtel, Menon also serves as head of customer service, giving him a very direct link to the customer world of revenue, loyalty, complaints, preferences, and emerging trends. QUESTION: Are you engaged deeply enough in the non-IT parts of your business?
  • At Shenzhen Airlines in China, CIO Liu Zhixuan is leading an effort he calls "service-chain integration," which offers an end-to-end view of not just processes but also customer segmentation and resets the outcomes of some of those processes based on a customer's status. QUESTION: During the past year of endless cost cutting, have you been able to make progress in offering strategic end-to-end visibility for your enterprise?
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  • Kim Tae Keuk is CIO of LG Electronics and is implementing a global single-instance Oracle ERP system for the $48 billion-a-year South Korean company. The cornerstone of that effort was an 18-month effort to map, integrate, and optimize 440 business processes across the company's 83 subsidiaries within the new system, reflecting Kim's belief that IT teams must be masters of all business processes across the enterprise. QUESTION: Do you and your team qualify as business process masters across your enterprise? If not, should you?
  • In the past year, Alcoa Brazil's head of IT, Tania Nossa, focused intently on extending and upgrading the company's connectivity. For Nossa, that required optimizing connectivity miles under the surface of the earth in bauxite mines in the Amazon rain forest with satellites and IP networks. Along the way, Nossa and Alcoa looped into their network a number of schools and hospitals in the region. QUESTION: As you're undertaking complex technology projects, are you considering reasonable ways those projects can offer significant social benefits without diluting your effort?
  • Alan Matula is CIO of Royal Dutch Shell and in the past year has signed $4 billion in outsourcing contracts, led one of the largest unified communications projects in the world, and pushed ahead with a range of social-networking efforts. QUESTION: In spite of the lousy global economy, are you being aggressive enough as CIO to bring about the transformations your company needs?
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