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Five Ideas: Tips for the CIOs

What a new survey revealed about top priorities

November 2011

Independent research by PwC into the IT priorities of European Communications Service Providers (CSPs) has uncovered CIOs focus areas for 2012: The research found 60 percent of CIOs currently spend more than half of their operating expenses on “maintenance.” Addressing this is going to be a major priority in 2012 and CIOs will respond with a more strategic use of outsourcing and standardization. David Russell, UK Telecommunications Leader, PwC, said: “Through 2012 we see a dual challenge for CIOs as they come under increasing pressure to reduce both operating costs and capital expenditure, while meeting their organization’s desire to invest in improving customer experience to drive retention. With the squeeze on product pricing, the need to reduce operational costs, the requirement to simplify IT and increased competition, CSPs see improved customer experience as the key differentiator.” Read the press release here, then find out what's topping the priority list for CIOs in other industries.

“More CIOs are focused on simplifying and streamlining their core IT operations and focusing on the areas of their IT operation which can drive real efficiency and growth within the business. We are seeing renewed interest in business applications, such as CRM, Web Commerce, Self-Service, and Retail Point of Service, as companies look to better engage with existing customers. We are also seeing CIOs increasingly buying off-the-shelf applications to create a more standardized IT ecosystem, across their own business but also to tie in with standardization across partners” —Dan Ford, vice president, product marketing, Oracle Communications

“Our new automated processes allowed many services to be done online, and we don’t risk losing paper forms. The beauty is that we can also measure how long it takes to process each request and identify any bottlenecks. It all means a happier business staff, and a happy staff does its job more effectively and delivers better customer service.” —Kevin Kinyanjui, information systems director and CIO at Kenya Airways.

“Technology is so pervasive throughout the business; the processes couldn't’t run without technology. So I think aligned with that, IT has changed from the guys who run the back office into a key enabler of business efficiency. You see studies about productivity increase; a lot of that’s related to technology. Therefore, I think the role becomes far less about the technology itself. But it becomes far more about how you use those technologies to create business value.” —Dell CIO Robin Johnson

“More and more, the CIO will have to be an innovator and an evangelist, as well as someone who can market and communicate. The CIO has to be a relationship manager and someone who can engage directly with the consumers of the company’s services and products. There will be tremendous opportunities for people who have those skills and inclinations.” —Larry Bonfante, author of Lessons in IT Transformation: Technology Expert to Business Leader

“If someone says, ‘It would be really good to upgrade the middleware on our Website,’ my response is, ‘That sounds nifty, and what benefit is there for the business? Will we sell more product? Will our Website be more available? Will it support a new product launch? Let’s demonstrate exactly what the benefits will be.’ We'll have a better chance of selling the project internally, and we'll be serving a more core set of needs” —Rob Eileen, CIO at Hunter Douglas North America, a leading manufacturer of window treatments

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