Companies today are learning how to navigate the rapid changes taking place in the global marketplace as information is embedded in more products, services, and business processes than ever before. Today the automobile operates using computers and electronic circuits that control ignition, fuel consumption, brake mechanisms, collision avoidance, and a host of other functions – making the automobile a complex machine. The shopping experience has also manifested into an information-based service. Consumers can now scan product bar codes using smart phones to compare product pricing, learn about nutritional value in foods, and even pay for products and services. Information technology has also permeated the social experiences as individuals and groups using smart phones can locate the nearest restaurant, solicit ideas for new products and services, and even mass market electronic messages and video to harness the masses in support of consumer complaints.
The need to understand the business and competitive marketplace is a basic requirement for the Strategic CIO. Without this competency, business discussions between the CIO and his business peers focusing on customer value, competitive gaps, and market penetration can never occur.
In addition, the Strategic CIO transforms IT organizations, from a technology focus to a strategic focus that develops collaborative working relationships with internal business partners to identify and address business needs that achieve business outcomes. These IT/Business teams help their companies improve and develop new products and services that drive revenue through enabling technologies. To successfully accomplish this transformation IT organizations need to develop new competencies and corresponding skills which result in a solid understanding of the business, knowledge of the competitive market, and how to leverage enabling technologies. The result will create customer value, increase revenue and profitability, and enhance shareholder wealth.
The consumerization of IT is forcing companies to rethink the role of the CIO (Chief Information Officer). Gone are the days that IT was solely focused on keeping-the-lights on, responding to business requests for new laptops and/or enhancement requests to improve existing functionality. CEOs are now seeking CIOs who not only have a technical competence but also have the business acumen to engage with the business in a collaborative peer-to-peer relationship along with IT/Business teams who work in a team-based culture identifying business solutions that achieve business outcomes.
Phil Weinzimer is president of Strategere Consulting working with clients to develop business and IT strategies that focus on achieving business outcomes. Previously Mr. Weinzimer was Managing Principal-Professional Services for IT Business Management at BMC Software. He has also held Managing Principal positions in the Professional Services organizations for ITM Software, CAI, and Sapient.
Mr. Weinzimer has written a book concerning customer value entitled “Getting IT Right: Creating Customer Value for Market Leadership” and has a forthcoming book, “The Strategic CIO: Creating Customer Value, Increasing Revenue, Enhancing Shareholder Wealth”, will be available in 2013.
Mr. Weinzimer can be contacted at email@example.com