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2017 is a make or break year for CIOs

2017 is a make or break year for CIOs

‘Don’t become bimodal roadkill - make all technology - and the business processes they support - change fast.’

It is not too late. The CIO needs to be involved with the digital business transformation as more than just an order taker or passenger

New Zealand and Australian CIOs are feeling threatened by digital business - that they don’t have the capabilities - or trust - to help the business embrace the customer.

Digital teams - those focused on website and mobile apps - are running the digital agenda for the business, and IT is seen as less relevant. Some CIOs feel disenchanted - having gone down the bimodal path they find that change and innovation can and should come from anywhere - not just the “fast zone”. And in this process they have marginalised much of the IT team as “slow and backwards facing”.

Luckily it is not too late. The CIO needs to be involved with the digital business transformation as more than just an order taker or passenger. 2017 is that year that CIOs must help the CEO by laying the foundation of the digital business - and enabling the business to change at speed - as, and when, the company or customer demands it.

Forrester believes that CIOs in Australia and New Zealand should focus on the following five initiatives to empower the business to embrace the change that being a digital business requires.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that CIOs in ANZ are more likely to become involved in the customer and employee journey mapping than their peers in Europe and North America.

Tim Sheedy, Forrester

1. Understand your current digital maturity to formulate a clear strategy.

Many CIOs jump straight into developing a digital roadmap - without understanding the relative strengths and weaknesses of the business. Pause for a moment and assess your current position - this will give you the information you need to effectively...

2. Create or help drive your company's digital business strategy.

The CIO should be intimately involved in developing and driving the company's digital strategy. The CEO should own this strategy - but the CIO can drive the process - bringing together the relevant executives who will drive the change in their departments.

3. Become the driving force behind digital operational excellence.

The CIO’s main mandate in their department should be to help the business change quickly. It is the lack of speed of change that will be why businesses fails - don’t become bimodal roadkill - make all technology - and the business processes they support - change fast.

4. Become actively involved with customer and employee journey mapping.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that CIOs in ANZ are more likely to become involved in the customer and employee journey mapping than their peers in Europe and North America. This may reflect the smaller size of the firms (on average), or the fact that good CX professionals are hard to come by - but either way, we see that CIOs are getting involved in their businesses customer journey mapping activities to help them drive their technology priorities over the next few years.

5. Change your team's metrics to reflect the business you want to be.

CIOs often say that they can’t be measured on something that they don’t control. The truth is that leading CIOs are taking control by reaching out and working with their peers and other business leaders - to drive real business and customer outcomes - not just on-time, on budget, and X% uptime. If your technology team wants to be fast, innovative, and help drive a better customer experience and ultimately increased revenue or profit, then you need to be measured on these very outcomes.

Any CIO who can master these capabilities in 2017 will be well positioned not to just ensure their business succeeds today, but to help them become market leaders tomorrow.

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Tim Sheedy is a principal analyst at Forrester.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

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