Leveraging Technology To Gain A Competitive Advantage
Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2014 and expectations
In today’s age, information is everywhere. From sales and transaction data to social media comments and weather patterns, the industry is challenged with taking massive amounts of information and translating it to accessible and actionable information for different areas of the business.
Moreover, the contemporary workforce has an expectation that business technology offers the same user experience as personal technology, where insights can be gathered in an instant. However, business technology has not yet caught up. For instance, there are no shortcut apps, or any multi-gesture functions available in most business technology resources. As IT enters each wave of technological innovation, these “Google” expectations for the enterprise drive advancements and business agility while requiring necessary strategies to integrate and optimize investments made in legacy technologies.
My expectation from technology providers is to be more inclusive of IT in the sales process with the business. “No IT Involved” sales tactics generally result in friction between IT and the business. Even with the evolution of cloud technologies, there is still security, single sign-on, reporting, and data integration requirements that IT generally has to help facilitate.
Areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist
Across a multitude of technologies, employees, customers and partners are all connected in ways we have never seen before. Today, we are challenged with keeping things simple while not sacrificing security or inhibiting innovation. With the any-any-any model (access from anywhere- at any time-from any place) that everyone has become accustomed to, it’s important to be able to provide people with the capabilities to access information from anywhere, while ensuring proper IT governance and controls.
"Strategic investment in technology should do two things: drive sales and enable efficiencies in the organization"
Trends impacting enterprise business environment
One of the most influential technology trends is Big Data and data visualization. The advancement from rows and columns to high-volume structured and unstructured multi-dimensional data allows it to be easily synthesized into actionable information.
The role of CIOs today
Every department is now looking at how they can leverage technology in order to minimize costs, increase efficiencies or gain a competitive advantage. Strategic investment in technology should do two things: drive sales and enable efficiencies in the organization. As a result, the CIO role has experienced changes in expectations and business deliverables.
My word for a CIO
Today’s CIOs must embrace change and accept that plans often have unforeseen twists. Consumer technology has put additional pressures on IT organizations to provide a better user experience and accessibility to technologies in general. The CIO must be able to prioritize and apply new technologies within the context of the overall business goals while juggling the ongoing request for the “shiny new toy”. To that extent, maintaining a strong relationship network across departments cultivates innovation. More than ever, the CIO needs to be strongly tied to the “hip” of the CMO.