Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 21 - Page 40

FEATURE: STATE OF THE CIO vision into effective action. Many CEOs see IT as simply a means to an end. At best, they might concede that IT can help increase automation and productivity. At worst, they’ll view it as a cost centre they can’t get rid of. “Establishing a strong relationship built on trust with the CEO will help the CIO reduce pressure and position the IT department as a strategic ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// on the projects that need to be delivered, rather than a seemingly arbitrary annual cycle,” said Schuck. “A narrow focus on rigid annual budgets can lead to dangerous vendor lock-in, which can have a damaging long-term financial impact. Project-based budgeting is a much more effective way to ensure IT investments deliver maximum business value. WITH INFORMATION BEING READILY AVAILABLE, CIOS NEED TO MANAGE INTERNAL EXPECTATIONS AS MUCH AS EXTERNAL ONES WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH IMPORTANT QUERIES. asset for a company. If CIOs mend fences with CEOs, they can show how IT is more than just business support – IT helps open up new revenue-generating opportunities and creates a genuine differentiator in products and customer experience. “The best way to do this is for the CIO to start thinking like an entrepreneur, putting the core business and its customers at the centre of the IT agenda, instead of focusing on the technology first. CIOs need to put IT needs in the context of business goals, aligning technology initiatives with the corporate strategy led by the CEO.” Workings with Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) CFO-driven financial management is highly dependent on IT systems and data availability. Commercial data processing, which includes accounting, revenue management, expense control and procurement, closely links IT to finance – making them counterparts. That’s why, according to Schuck, the relationship between the CIO and CFO is of strategic importance for sustainable finance operations. “When the conversation turns to budgeting, the CIO needs to ensure budgets are focused 40 INTELLIGENTCIO “Rather than trying to wring every last drop of ROI from ageing technology, CFOs and CIOs can work together on a more flexible approach. In this way, the business can deploy innovative technology when it’s needed, helping drive overall ‘business ROI’ rather than relentlessly pursuing a return on individual investments. “CIOs can form effective partnerships with CFOs by communicating the business value of IT investments and showing how they align with the organisation’s strategic priorities. And supporting the finance function with reliable analytics and secure, easily recoverable data will also help foster a relationship of trust between the CIO and the CFO.” Working with Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) Digital technologies, social media and marketing automation have transformed the marketing function, and CMOs are increasingly tech-savvy. So how can CIOs work with CMOs to develop a coherent marketing technology strategy? “Firstly, CIOs need to emulate their marketing counterparts and become not just customer centric, but customer-obsessed,” said Schuck. “Today’s customers want tailored, personalised interactions, but to do this effectively, you really need to become obsessive about knowing as much as possible about the 7W7FW"( 42rFWVVBF&R&RFǗ6RBVFW'7FB7W7FW"FFFvWBFR6vG2FBvVFVVvvP7W7FW'2&RVffV7FfVǒ&VF7BgWGW&P'Wr&VfW"BFWfVFR&GV7G0B6W'f6W2FB7W7FW'2&VǒvB@6VFV6WfRFW6Rv2'WBBvV6WfRFVBf7FW"b&WFp6WF2&RFVw&FVBFƗ7F2VFW'&6RvFRFV6w7G&FVw( FR4VVG2Fv&w6FRFR4f"FW"&V62Ff"WRB0&W76&Rf"'VFrBFrFPV&Ɩ2f6RbFR'W6W72( 2G2vV'6FR@wwrFVƖvVF66