When IDC asked business leaders what worries them the most, their response wasn’t surprising. Most C-suite executives said they worry about profit and loss, customer satisfaction and better processes. When IDC threw the same question to IT leaders, their answers listed out a similar set of problems: Productivity, improving business processes, cutting costs, and increasing revenue.
Obviously, contrary to popular belief, CIOs are business-oriented. Rajeev Agarwal, research VP, IDC, believes that by focusing on the three pillars—strategize, optimize and digitize—of modern day business transformations, CIOs will be able to overcome these challenges and become the harbingers of change and innovation. “Done well, these three transformative concepts will automatically push the organization on a growth path,” he says.
Agarwal says that the first step to strategize is to use simple reports and dashboards to showcase the value that IT brings to organizations—no matter how fundamental it is. By reinstating this faith in IT, CIOs will be in a better position to align themselves with business peers. “And this goes a full circle. CIOs should never try to strategize alone. The more business peers you align with in your organization, the more initiatives will become a holistic company decision,” he says. Also, CIOs should do a dipstick and figure out the scope for optimization within their organizations. “Be it staff, processes that you support, or technology, everything has scope for improvement,” he says.
By using methodologies like Six Sigma, CIOs can streamline processes and create more measurable parameters for the success of these processes. “We, at IDC, have noticed that companies that have optimized their current assets have easily reduced costs by 20-30 percent,” he says. Agarwal says that while human resources can be optimized by investing in good performers and focusing on integrating services and skill sets, CIOs can optimize processes by investing more in those that are competitive differentiators. The answer to optimizing technology lies in technology itself: By automating current IT infrastructure for higher self-utilization, standardization, and consolidation.
Agarwal says that CIOs who have strengthened these two pillars need not worry too much about the third. Because what follows is the natural progression of digitization, that makes way for new age technologies like cloud computing, mobility and analytics.