If CIOs are not Business Leaders are they Change Agents and Innovators?

In recent posts I have been banging the drum about how COBIT 5 provides Business Executives and Technology Leadership with a common language to drive the Business forward in a joined-up way. 

So the article below, which appeared on CIO.com on Friday 18th May, made me sit up and take notice.

  

Bernard Golden is CEO of consulting firm HyperStratus, which specializes in virtualization, cloud computing and related issues. He is also the author of “Virtualization for Dummies,” the best-selling book on virtualization to date

CIOs Don’t Need to Be Business Leaders – LINK

“Given the complexity of today’s applications, it’s folly to suggest that the future role of the CIO is less technical and more businesslike, columnist Bernard Golden writes. If anything, it’s the opposite — the business side of the enterprise should embrace technology.”

Notion of CIO as Business Leader Just Plain Wrong

You Can’t Discuss Tech Without Knowing Tech

In Today’s Economy, CIOs Obligated to Know Tech

“Frankly, that issue of talking to the CEO in business language with which he or she is comfortable is a red herring. The fact is, businesses today are technology businesses. Information technology is core to what they do.”

Please find below two real world examples of the CIO as the driving force for Transformational Change and how Innovation is taking Systems of Engagement to another level.

IT transformation drives the business forward

Mike Wolfe – Senior Vice President and CIO @AMD

IT Transformation is a bit of a slippery term

Typically IT spends 70% of the budget on keeping the lights on which is not acceptable as the CEO gets 30 cents back on each dollar of their investment

Blank sheet innovation, doing things radically different is difficult for people to do

03:20 – You have to get to the place where a very complex topic can be stated very simply in a way that it applies to everyone in the company.  For our Business Leaders it has to be about how does this impact the company, they don’t care about the technology frankly.  They just want to know how it is moving the bottom line forward – more sales, more profitability, less cost.

Philip Clarke at Tesco is one of the few CIOs (Group IT Director) who have made it to the top job.  He became CEO in March 2011 and made the following statement at the annual results presentation in April 2012.

“I’m announcing today our 1 billion pounds plan to put the heart and soul back into Tesco,” Chief Executive Phil Clarke told reporters after the group reported a small full-year profit rise that met market expectations.

“The plan isn’t radical, isn’t a radical change of direction, but it’s a radical change of pace,” he said.

From ‘Broccoli Cam’ to electronic shelf edge labels, Chief Information Officer Mike McNamara shows us around the latest technology innovations in store, as well as a short preview of technology currently being worked on in the labs.

This video clip showcases hand scanners to staff badge sized computers.  The convergence of physical and online is best shown when you buy the DVD physical product and the film is available to view online in the customers Blink Box Digital Locker.

Labs are working on bringing to life an Augmented Reality application that enables a smartphone to take a flat image and give it three dimensions, e.g. providing serving suggestions for the customer.   

In my view, any successful CIO has to demystify the Technology and show how transformational change will deliver value to the Business.

I keep repeating the same mantra that any Technology capability only exists to serve the Business.

Its not about the CIO being an expert in either Business or Technology it is about the CIO having a foot in both camps.

Tesco will bounce back because the Company has invested heavily in accelerating change by delivering innovation in-store.  The CEO “gets it” and is sure to provide full support for the CIO.

 

 Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.

Theodore Levitt

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