Dagger Points Great article! I agree with many points each CIO made. I especially agree with those making comments of: Where can I help the business change; IT is more essential now than ever; There has to be a knowledge exchange; Find ways to get close to the customer. To accomplish these kinds of goals companies CIO’s and other staff will need one or more of the following: Coaching; Training; Collaboration, internally, as well as externally with like peers; Access to unbiased information; etc. This will take time, energy and money since systems and processes have been in place for years. It is really a different way of thinking! It has to be out-of-the-box thinking. That’s the Point!
By Steve Rosenbush
Changes in the role of the CIO may seem subtle from year to year. Over several years, they are unmistakable.
When CIO Journal launched in the spring of 2012, there was a raging debate over whether employees should be allowed to use their own smartphones at work or whether cloud computing was a thing. Social media was poised to empower uprisings against authoritarian regimes, tech entrepreneurs were heroes, and it was well understood that consumers didn’t care about privacy.
Events of great consequence have transpired in the realm of technology since 2012 — the Snowden revelations, the 2016 election and Russian interference, the Facebook privacy upheavals, NotPetya and massive hacks against global corporations. They have changed the public’s perception of technology, and a new social contract with tech is taking shape, with Europe leading the way.
Such changes don’t happen all at once, though. With that in mind, CIO Journal asked CIOs how their role has changed in the past year and how they expect it to change in 2019. Edited highlights, in their own words:
Sheila Jordan, CIO, Symantec Corp.
The CIO role is expanding both in depth and breadth. There isn’t a business strategy today, in any industry, that doesn’t require some element of technology, whether it’s building an app, or providing customer insights in each and every touch point in the organization. Technology is a critical element of all strategies, so CIOs must find ways to optimize how they run the organization and spend more time deciding where to help the business change, improve, and most importantly, grow revenue. Digital transformation will continue, and our customers expect it. We have become impatient when, as a customer, an application doesn’t know who we are, or if acquisitions are not integrated from a customer experience perspective. All CIOs are expected to deliver this exceptional experience at a time when many have legacy applications—combined with data privacy and security expectations—so it can be a challenge. But it’s the reality of our customer and shareholders’ expectations.
Fletcher Previn, CIO, International Business Machines Corp.
The CIO’s role continues to evolve and IT is more essential to the business than ever before. Today, the IT department is a strategic partner, and is on the front line of virtually every major initiative in the company. As ever greater demands are placed on IT, having a well-disciplined, Agile process around how we prioritize work and handle backlog is essential. We have completely embraced Agile as a methodology. Today, we have a single funnel of work, and partner with the business for transparency on what work is prioritized. We measure the Agile maturity of each of our teams to understand how each team is performing. Often, what we decide not to do is just as important as what we sign up to do.
Diana McKenzie, CIO, Workday Inc.
As 2018 comes to a close and we head into 2019, I’m placing an increased focus on defining an enterprise-wide digital strategy and strengthening our CIO customer community … enabling robust content and knowledge exchange capabilities to ensure continuous learning across organizations and keep us connected globally. We’ll be reimagining and designing a digitally enabled, seamless customer journey at scale, to continue to drive amazing experiences for our customers. We’ll keep a continued focus on driving self-service analytics and uptake of machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities in all areas of our business, guiding our customers into the future. And a bonus, we’ll accelerate innovation by partnering with our Workday Ventures team to identify exciting new start-ups and test their products out in our new Alpha Lab environment.
Mark Sims, CIO, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
Based on where we are currently in executing our 2020 strategy, the team is pivoting from building and implementing solutions to maturing our people and process capabilities with these solutions.
Savio Thattil, CIO, Sephora
As retail deals with the mass rapid adoption of consumer technology, I’m seeing my role shift to more of an advisor. Ultimately, I will need to balance staying on top of consumer technology trends, and deciphering what’s real and what’s just buzz, while being a mentor within an organization that is navigating the fast pace of change in retail.
James McGlennon, CIO, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group.
My role requires more external perspective, looking outside of our industry and helping to contemplate business models and ecosystems of the future. At the same time, helping our employees enthusiastically contribute and achieve their maximum potential.
Paul Chapman, CIO, Box Inc.
I do not know if it has been in the last year per se, but when you are in an environment that has freedom from large on-premise infrastructure footprints … direct operational management of those environments results in a massive give back of time. As a modern CIO, you should be spending that time on higher value work, like how to accelerate company growth and efficiency, finding ways to get closer to the customer and driving solutions that achieve revenue-generating results.
Bob Worrall, CIO, Juniper Networks Inc.
CIOs are expected to constantly adapt to new technologies, or changes in business priorities. That’s part of the job and normal in our world. People who can’t deal with constant change and uncertainty shouldn’t be a CIO.
My name is Larry Treas and I am CEO and Head of New Thinking at Dagger. I have 35 years of witnessing the madness that blows through companies around the world, and it’s a foul breeze. I created the Dagger Guild to forge peer discussions, mentoring sessions, and specific information pipeline deliverables to address, solve and alleviate the standard issue nothingness you go through daily. Dagger has no allegiance, no affiliation, and no ties to carriers, vendors, advertisers or telecom marketers of any kind. As a result, our advice is both untethered and unbiased.
You can see from my CV/resume my track record and years of experience. The Dagger Guild is my dream built upon the belief that together, we will create the next generation of heroes.