The time for shrinking is over, and growth is again the focus of CFOs and business strategists all over. The global financial crisis drove all businesses towards cost-cutting and increased efficiency—and as this article from the CIO Journal explains, those efforts were successful. But now that economies are on the rebound, business is looking to expand again—and CIOs must be in a position to help with that expansion.
The time has come to reinvent IT, according to the article. This reinvention means not only changing the very way that IT is used within a company, but what kind of power the CIO has within the organization as well. The building of relationships and introduction of IT as a strategic asset are now possible with the re-established desire for growth.
Ask The Right Questions
The article explains that there are a few questions that the CIO can ask in order to establish how they are currently (and how they can in the future) affect the business. First, the CIO must understand if IT is “currently organized in a way that effectively supports the business.” The next question is to ask whether system architecture is ready for the unexpected:
Each quarter, Deloitte surveys CFOs from large, influential companies in North America about their business perspectives and actions. In Q3 2012, nearly half of those surveyed said their IT systems currently do not adapt well to changes in business strategy, tactics and/or scale (only 18 percent of survey respondents expressed a positive sentiment on this issue). Given this challenge, Lowrie says CIOs should consider redesigning system architecture so that it can better adapt to shifts in market conditions and grow as the business grows. “This can be difficult because even though priorities are fluid, IT’s budget planning processes are usually fixed.
Is Data Treated As A Strategic Asset?
Finally, CIOs must be aware of whether their company treats data as a strategic asset. If data is treated with a passive approach, it’s time to show the business how such an attitude can lead to missed opportunities. CIOs are the very people who should be making this case—and perhaps the only ones who can make the case to the right people.
Read the full article here: http://deloitte.wsj.com/cio/2013/01/03/how-cios-can-align-it-with-the-business-to-unlock-growth/