CIOs have a lot on their plate every day, and as this post from Linda Tucci suggests, they may not have the time nor energy to help a company achieve competitive advantage in the industry. So how important is the CIO's focus?
Gaining a competitive advantage certainly matters deeply to board members, according to recent Gartner research. Maintaining competitive advantage came out as the top concern of 52% of board members, outpacing 26 other board issues, including cost-cutting, restructuring the business and replacing the CEO. “Nothing else came close,” analyst Jorge Lopez, whose research focuses on CEO concerns, told CIOs at the 2012 Gartner CIO Leadership Forum. Another point that makes the old topic of competitive advantage fresh news for CIOs? Lopez cited growing evidence that when companies lose ground during a recession “” say, drop from the No.2 to the No. 4 spot in their markets “” they don't regain their edge, at least until the next financial crisis alters the playing field.
Despite this, the majority of CIOs don't keep track of what competitors are doing. Tucci suggest that CIOs should band together to discuss what works and what doesn't ““ allowing mutual benefits and insight.