Home > Risk > CIOs are stepping up as business innovators at long last

CIOs are stepping up as business innovators at long last

I have been writing about the need for CIOs and technology executives to step up and demonstrate through their ideas and leadership how technology can be used to transform their organization. I am not talking only about transforming business processes, but communication with and understanding of customers and the delivery of new or enhanced products and services to them.

Research by Cutter (the May 21st issue) indicates that the tide of progress seems to have started to turn. CIOs are not just relying on business leaders to set the direction and then advise on the technology that might help. They are not just reacting. They are starting to lead.

Over the last couple of years, the number of CIOs who see themselves as “key enablers for business innovation” has doubled to about 60%. The number who are reactive to business innovation has not changed much; it remains at about 30%. The difference lies in the number of those who don’t see business innovation as an important role for IT, and where IT is even seen as an impediment for business innovation.

But while CIOs may see themselves as key enablers, they still haven’t embraced a leadership role in “creating new opportunities for business innovation”.

I am an optimist. I believe the potential for technology to transform is immense. I also believe that if the current set of CIOs don’t step up they will be replaced – as CEOs realize they are being left behind.

  1. Rob
    May 31, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    I agree Norman and I have had the pleasure of working at Burberry for the last 5 years where our CIO and IT teams at large have worked with the business to drive innovation an technology. From a risk practitioners perspective this often leads us into the unknown but I can only say fortunately not only are they innovative in pushing the boundaries but all of what that means in “real” terms in terms of ensuring its risk that will fruit rewards.

  2. May 31, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    interesting… in the 90’s we saw a lot of this in the capital market industries… large integrated investment banking institutions created data services and operations software which were spun off and turned into independent companies…Bloomberg is an example of this trend… the 90’s phenomena was necessary to create a new capital market processing structure… today with IT costs at historic lows and return on capital thin…corporate enterprises are looking to monetize IC as a way to enhance roce… a new market structure of thin enterprises maximizing portfolios of extended market chains of capital assets seems to be the new corporate business model… collaboration, incubators, supply chain, syndication’s…

  3. May 31, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    In one of my articles I have indicated that a CIO should be referred to as a Chief Innovation Officer. A business executive (and not a technology technocratic) – leading the enterprise in creating sustainable competitive advantage using technology. Enabling the business to sustain and extend its business objecitves and goals. A few years ago I wrote about CIO, A must on today’s corporate board meetings – http://www.isaca.org/Blogs/424236/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=4&RootFolder=%2FBlogs%2F424236%2FLists%2FPosts

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