In conversation with a US-based CIO recently, the CIO summarised his opportunities and challenges to me with one short phrase: “Software is eating the world, but I’m not sure I’m in front of its mouth or behind it.” The fact that his teams were seen in various business functions as having strong operational experience ‘wrestling with software’ put him in a potentially strong situation; but at the same time, his teams were seen as largely assisting the business’ internal administrative and management functions. The development and operation of the company’s websites and call centres were outsourced; and the recent development of mobile applications for consumers was outsourced, too.
In other words: his department was a ‘back room operation’, one step removed from all the change occurring in customer interaction patterns and channels.
His story is far from unusual.
Across many industries, our research tells us that businesses are trying to deal with a perfect storm. Ever-more demanding customers expect more joined-up, multi-channel experiences; and at the same time Boards are realising that the people, information and processes involved in business operations need to be co-ordinated more efficiently. On top of all this, cloud computing, mobile technologies, social platforms and Big Data opportunities are changing the landscape of what’s possible with technology in business.
One natural response to all this pressure is to drive more and more operations, customer interactions and administrative services onto a digital stage where they can be managed and measured in a more agile fashion. This is the ‘Digital Enterprise’ concept—a model of operations where digital technologies are strategically exploited to maximise global effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness.
The question is—how broadly is this recognised in industry, and are CIOs surfing the wave of digital disruption or at risk of drowning?
The theme of the next CIO Event is the Digital Enterprise, and MWD Advisors is the industry analyst firm partner for this event. To fit in with the Digital Enterprise theme we’re running an online survey to find out how influential IT leaders like you are experiencing digital disruption, reacting to it, planning for it and making changes happen.
In our survey, which should only take 5–10 minutes to complete, we’re asking you to tell us what kinds of capabilities are being invested in, what current maturity levels look like, and what you need more of going forward.
We’ll be writing up an analysis of the survey findings in March, and anyone who completes the survey can get a free copy of the report before it’s openly published. As a special ‘thank you’, we’ll also send all qualified participants a personalised benchmark report that shows how your own responses map onto those of the overall survey population.
And at the UK CIO Event in April, we’ll be running a workshop based on the survey findings.
Obviously, the more data points we gather the more meaningful the results will be. We know your time is very valuable—but this is a strategic set of questions and we think you’ll find the result worthwhile.