With every passing day, creating differentiation is becoming increasingly difficult for any large organisation. Hence, processes have become the key to staying ahead.
An interesting fallout of this is the role of Chief Technology Officers of these enterprises has metamorphosed into Chief Information Officer.
How's that different from the past?
If earlier, 75% of their thrust was on technology, today, it has reduced to 25%. The balance is focused on helping the CEO with the organisation's business objectives.
The CTO-turned-CIO, hence today is more a business manager than a technology manager.
Interestingly, by training, these people are groomed to manage technology. Managing businesses, hence, is a role thrust on them - because of compulsions of emerging business dynamics.
CIOs or CBSSOs (Chief Business Strategy Support Officers)?
Though CEOs would like to believe otherwise, the companies that wear the enviable tag of innovator, do so predominantly because of their CIOs who have managed to learn and master the ropes of managing businesses.
You may ask, what's the correlation? Well, let me repeat some of what I said earlier - since the only differentiator in today's day and time can only be the processes that give these organisations and edge, and CIOs have a large role to play in understanding this evolving business compulsion, and the faster they master this situation, the faster the companies adopt the processes that put them on a fast track. That, really, is the secret behind the innovator organisation. Hence, it would be prudent to re-christen CIOs as CBSSOs.
Technology Trained to Business Savvy - A Conundrum
So, how does the CIO play catch-up in this new business scenario? As we can see, by training he's not meant to perform this role. Still we do notice the likes of Jay Menon (Bharti CIO who was entrusted with market creation of the phenomenon called BlackBerry in India). What makes them tick? How do they adapt?
The answer interestingly lies not within, but outside
To help CBSSOs to perform their new role well, the technology companies are falling back on a still emerging discipline in India - Direct Marketing. Interestingly, even for the Chief Information Officer, the key to his own success is information - on new products, new technologies, new developments, new processes…
Here's where Direct Marketing plays the key role. The role of providing sound business logic to the CIO, and strengthening his hands by giving sound reasoning for technology adoption. The better DM agencies perform this role, the larger the number of CIOs who would be able convince their organisation's management about technology adoption. And naturally, more and more companies will join the 'Innovator' bandwagon.