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How CIOs Innovate the Enterprise: TestInSeconds & Other Strategies

When CIOs step up and take on the role of innovation leader, the benefits for the business are limitless. In an article for CIO.com, Phil Weinzimer delves into how CIOs are changing the game. He talks to three different CIOs—Steve Heilenman, Perry Rotella, and Niel Nickolaisen—about what they have done to leverage technology to elevate the business.

Empowered to Act

One thing strategic CIOs do is recognize market opportunities. Computer Aid’s Heilenman knew that testing was taking too long with his Automated Project Office product review, so he challenged his testing team to come up with a faster process. The result of this challenge was TestInSeconds, a product that reduces testing time by 90 percent. Heilenman now offers TestInSeconds to other companies, and it is expected to generate millions in revenue over the next few years.

A quick look at TestInSeconds shows what makes it such a useful tool. It provides a fast overview of both the aesthetic and functional elements of design. On the aesthetic end, it can account for things like typos, differences in display between browsers, and whether or not your performance speed is up to snuff. On the functional end, it can assist in automated script creation and provide user-friendly reports to show which scripts are working and which ones are bogging you down. Computers cannot solve every problem, but this tool sure wants to try.

Next up, Verisik Analytics’ Rotella demonstrates how being well-rounded allows CIOs to lead just as capably as anyone else in the C-suite, and in a variety of situations. It was due to his rich combination of experiences with risk, analytics, and leadership that he was selected to lead an entirely new business unit. The business trusts people who take the time to learn the business.

Lastly, Western Governors University’s (WGU) Nickolaisen shows how the right skills and mindset can allow a CIO to build new business models:

In 2013, when Niel Nickolaisen was CIO at WGU, he realized that students should be treated as individuals, not as a group. He led a cross-functional team to change that model. “The goal was to create a personalized experience for every student and help him or her improve their learning,” Nickolaisen says. “We accomplish this by proactively identifying students who exhibited learning difficulties using data analytics to track learning, test scores, and professor assessments and create a personalized learning program for each of these students…

Weinzimer concludes with five steps that a strategic CIO would take to change the dynamics of business. In brief, this includes developing trustworthy relationships within the C-suite, gaining a deep understanding of the business, especially understanding key business processes, working across the C-suite to develop solutions together, and constantly seeking areas where IT can be used to bridge gaps and generate more value. You can read Weinzimer’s original article here: http://www.cio.com/article/2883073/cio-role/three-examples-of-how-cios-are-changing-the-dynamics-of-the-business-enterprise.html

You can read further about TestInSeconds here: http://www.testinseconds.com/

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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