The Digital CIO: Making the Business Case for Digital Technology

CIOs: More Important Than Ever

CIOs are experiencing ever increasing pressure—and while that might not be anything new, the reason certainly is: with the expanding reach of digital technology (social media, mobile tech, analytics and cloud computing), CIOs are being asked to find safe, quick, and effective ways to interact with customers and prove a return on investment.

ROI Might Not Be The Best Measure

But the model of ROI simply doesn’t work in these areas. In fact, ROI is, as Bill Goodwin states, too one-dimensional to be useful for figuring out what kind of intangible benefits there are to digital tech. Demonstrating the value, however, is still important. It is with this in mind that Goodwin taps into the insight of Rob Lambert, director of the IT leadership program at the Cranfield School of Management. According to Lambert, the CIO must always have the needs of the business in mind, but sometimes that means pushing the business to understanding what might not be readily visible:

Organisations may end up with working IT systems, but typically, they fail to deliver 75% of the business benefits promised, said Lambert.

One reason organisations go wrong is that they focus on technical fixes, rather than addressing the underlying issues.

So, if the business wants to get close to its customers, and understand their behaviour more effectively, the answer automatically becomes a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Technology sometimes becomes the center of attention—and easily, as it’s very visible and costly—but that’s not to say that technology should be the center of attention. Instead, business benefits should stay in focus for the CIO—and the CIO should make sure the rest of the business keeps the same focus as well.

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