Strategic CIO

CIO Focus: Paradigm Shift Ahead!

The pervasive use of information technology exists in almost everything we do in our daily lives from driving a car, buying clothes either on line or in storefronts,  or making restaurant reservations. This paradigm shift of technology becoming embedded in everything we do is forcing business leaders to rethink the future role of the information technology organizations and how they interact with other business units.  Business leaders now recognize that CIOs and IT organizations have tremendous influence in   creating business value for customers and as a result need to be more involved in developing business strategy.

In the recent CIO Survey 2012 Harvey Nash, a global consulting firm with 4,000 professionals in 40 offices across the USA, Europe and Asia interviewed approximately 2,400 plus   CIOs and senior IT Executives with a combined IT spend of 140 billion dollars. What they found was consistent with what we’ve heard at conferences and reading in journals. CIOs are more strategic than ever before. They spend more time working with business peers to focus on future ways to enable business success using information technology. Following are four key areas that the survey uncovered.

1.             CIOs have a more strategic outlook.

CIOs who have a strategic focus spend more time on global initiatives which focus on creating customer value.   As a result they have more of an executive presence.

  • 52% of respondents are more involved in executive board meetings   than in 2011. In 2010 the percentage was 40%
  • Over 2/3rd’s of respondents (68%) say that CIOs are more strategic than last year.
  • Time-to-Market is more of a priority in 2012 (24%)  than in 2011 (17%).  
  • Mergers and acquisitions are a more important focus in 2012 (15%) versus than in 2010 (12%)
  • Focus on mobile commerce is more of a priority for CIOs in 2012 (22%) vs.   2011 (17%)

2.             IT Projects are focusing on Revenue not just cost savings.

You can only cut costs to a maximum of 100%. After you cut the first 20% it’s exponentially harder to reduce costs by another 20%. But you can increase revenue infinitely. Sales can increase 50%, 100% and 200%. There is no limit. So CIOs are working with business peers to figure out how to grow revenues with enabling technology

  • 56% of survey respondents said that the focus on IT projects is to make money as opposed to cost savings.
  • 71% of CIOs feel that improve market share they need to   embrace   new technologies or they will lose market share; an 8% increase from the 2011 survey
  • 73% of CIO say that reporting to the CEO drives innovation from the IT organization and more CIOs are reporting to CEOs than ever before
  • 31% of CIOs report to the CEO, a 10% increase from 2011

3.             Mobility and Social Media are hot topic for 2012.

It will drive innovation and value for customers. You can’t have a conversation with a CIO without the subject quickly moving to the mobile. As a result CIOs are looking to include mobile skills as a core skill with IT organizations. With the advent of Social Media CMOs are beginning to partner with CIOs as a means of leveraging marketing opportunities to increase market share, capture new customers, and provide superior customer value

  • The demand for mobility skills jumped to 21% in 2011 vs. only 14% in 2010
  • The need for skilled resources in security increased to 17% in 2012 from only 13% in 2011.
  • Social media skills is also on the rise jumping to 15% from 11%, an increase of almost 40%
  • CIOs are partnering with CMOs. 43% of CIOs are working with CMOs to develop digital media.

4.             Innovation is a Must.

As the economic disruption to growth is reversing strategies that focus on increasing market share, revenue, customer value are emerging.   As a result CIOs are looking for ways to utilize emerging technologies to grow market share. The marketplace has always rewarded companies who innovate and continuously improve their products. So time-to-market is an imperative.

  • 71 % of CIOs believe that to maintain market share companies need to integrate new technologies into products and services
  • There is still a gap between how the business views the integration of new technology into products and services and IT’s ability to deliver.

To read more about the survey and download a complete version visit :

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

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