by Mark Chillingworth

New year metrics

Dec 21, 20112 mins

As 2011 draws to a close, naturally we are all looking at what 2012 will offer. There is no doubt that it will be a significant year. There is excitement surrounding the Olympics, but also great concern over the economic crisis in Europe and whether the UK can capture a share of emerging markets to replace the fall in trade with our EU cousins.
One thing does look certain to happen: the way all of us measure outputs, achievements and investment returns will change. In the case of CIOs this is a welcome move and one that is occurring as a direct result of the job role finally living up to the job title. 
There are two aspects to this. Firstly the economic downturn, a hung parliament and rising commodity prices show that business and economic measures of the last 30 years are not fit for 2012. Across the spectrum there is an awakening that we need to reconsider how we measure. The UK National Ecosystem Assessmentwas a massive government-funded research project that demonstrated that protecting our natural habitat has a wide range of economic benefits, and is now a core consideration in policy making. The government is also looking into wellbeing and happiness assessments to juxtapose against GDP, and these will affect CIOs and their organisations. But even closer to home, the way firms adopt, pay and use IT will change drastically as technology becomes a commodity. As Richard Sykes argues, much of it, like infrastructure, shouldn’t even be the responsibility of the CIO or their team. 
CIOs should and will be chief information officers, engaged with the information assets an organisation holds and realising greater benefits from it for the organisation, as Mike Altendorf details.
The CIO community must devise new ways of measuring the value they add to organisations. Closer collaboration with marketing, sales and R&D departments will lead to new metrics being devised. CIOs in manufacturing, retail, finance, local authorities and pharmaceuticals have told CIO of late about the transformation to their organisations they will deliver in 2012, and we’re here to help create the new metrics.