I’ve been reading about GCs (Game Changers). I know that there are a few theories floating around out there about what is the core difference that makes some people just gravitate to the top. Though I think that it is a very interesting discussion, the article that I stumbled upon is basically “14 stories of visionary CIOs changing the game through digital transformation”. This is an attempt to give you a brief overview of this 61 page paper. So let’s begin with a basic definition concerning the role of a CIO (Chief Information Officer or/ Coordination, Implementation & Operation). It appears that there is no exact description and it has become an executive position dealing with the IT needs of a company including strategic planning for business growth objectives and ensuring that the tech systems and procedures actually lead to the outcomes in line with their business goals. With AI, Big Data, Cloud and Mobile computing as part of the tech world the CIO is also concerned about data security, consumer marketing and customer service.
One GC focused on being a Problem Solver and to be open to all the new possibilities. They needed to be willing to go with different technologies and different suppliers. There is also a need to communicate well, systems like Fuze or Slack help with that and what they found is workers started thinking about other things that could increase productivity and make the company stronger and more competitive.
Another idea was to use and promote technology that helps the company engage with customers with the expectation that their apps be easy to use for all involved. The company even went the extra mile to streamline their operations by allowing workers to be able to create an app as needed by just following some instructions rather than having to wait for IT to make it for them. This company has been able to build more agility into its own organization.
Another GC promoted a new business strategy based on more collaboration. They want to empower their workers to take a more active role in the way they use and implement IT. Quoting their CTO, “employees need to be a part of—for them to know our roadmap and understand the capabilities we are offering, so they can imagine things their own way.” I personally like this type of thinking, it makes me imagine what we’d be able to accomplish together… as the saying goes, “two heads are better than one”.
Another GC focuses on the customer data and takes time to study and track their buying behavior. And updating an out-of-date system by adding some new tools and processes made it easier for his workforce to communicate from anywhere instead of being tied to a desk in a building.
It would be ideal to have all systems whether on a cell phone, a tablet, laptop , call center or point of sale register to all work together. So no matter who or what platform is used, the same information is consistent and current. This will result in faster and more efficient results because all systems are working off the same data. This must be an example of the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing.
One company had a big challenge of integrating not only a 136 year old company with lots of history and its many holdings from several acquisitions. The mother company had bought the other companies as a way to be able to add new products and the ability to expand into different markets. What they soon realized was that they now needed to combine all the different IT systems and different ways of communicating. It has become an important goal to unite their many different ways of working, now under the umbrella of one company with IT solutions like working with the cloud.
Next week in Part 2, we will uncover other tips from other businesses looking to IT for their solutions.