A post by E2 Conference co-chair and InformationWeek Editorial Director, Fritz Nelson
Depending on the day, I’m either delighted or frightened for the modern CIO. The technology-driven pace of change has always been blindingly fast, but there has never been a more disruptive time in the corporate enterprise, at least if you’re a CIO.
On the one hand, the corporate end-user, your enormous and never-bashful internal customer has developed an expectation driven by positive experiences with consumer technology, and suddenly they’ve become experts at your job. Not only do they want to bring that technology to the workplace, they also want Oracle Financials to work like Intuit, Jive to be just like Facebook, their company-issued Dell laptop to work like an iPhone, and expense reports to operate like Pinterest. And while these demands drive you crazy, you know they’re probably right.
On another hand (and I don’t know how many hands you have, but if you’re like most CIOs, you must have more than two, kind of like parents who also need to be equipped with eyes in the back of their head), over on the business side you’ve got external customers, and if you’re a savvy CIO you’ve started to align IT initiatives with your customers. Maybe you’ve even ventured out on some customer visits. The exciting part is that there are plenty of tools at your disposal: social listening tools, social marketing campaign tools, marketing management platforms, and big data infrastructure and new data analytics tools that promise not only real-time measurement, but also predictive capabilities.
What’s not to love? Talk about job security.
Only another internal constituent has stuck its busy body into the decision-making equation: marketing. After all, understanding the customer is the CMO’s realm, and sometimes they are initiating discussions around customer data analysis. The good news is the CMO has a budget; the bad news is, it’s time to form new (and more) alliances.
When people talk about disruption, they’re usually only talking about technology disruption. That’s easy enough to get behind. But with that comes organizational disruption and cultural disruption. If you rebuff it, mishandle it, dismiss it, it can also lead to business and customer disruption. And that’s the last place a CIO wants to be . . . because that could lead to another kind of disruption we probably don’t want to say out loud.
What can you do to lead the charge on social, on big data, on improved user and customer experience, on customer intelligence? How can you put yourself in the best position to drive change, rather than be driven by it? How can you embrace new alliances with customers (internal and external), so that you’re in a position to be proactive, and not become your company’s whipping post?
Many of our E2 Conference tracks dive deeply into the disruptive technologies and forces at play, and our CXO leadership track will help answer some of those questions. Please join us.
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