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The New Age CIO- Business Transformation Partner

It is becoming increasingly necessary for Industries and Organizations to improve Productivity,

Reliability and keep pace with the ever increasing demands .Never before has there been such
a pressure on usiness!the Production and "ngineering departments to keep up to these
usiness has no other choice but to identify #issues$, adapt #new technologies$, de!bottleneck
and implement %Engineering/Process IT Innovation drives wherever practical and possible.
In these scenarios, the &IO or the &hief Information Officer can play the role of a partner and
assist the usiness team achieve their ob'ectives.
(ypically the &IO and the I( team)s role have been restricted to #basic) implementation and
%*upport) of "nterprise needs related to I( hardware and *oftware.
I( teams have in the past procure specific software and hardware and get tied down by the lock
in periods ,typically three to four and get trapped with the probably obsolete software down the
In today)s changing times and advent of &loud and *oftware, Platform, Infrastructure as a
*ervice, lot of new possibilities emerge for the &IO.
(echnology trends and landscapes are much more dynamic now and there is an increasing
need for &IO)s to look at getting out of the %traditional support % mode and get more focused on
meeting the ever increasing demands from usiness.
(he Organization now increasingly looks at the &IO for critical support to the usiness teams,
without which no (ransformations would be possible.
+ Proactive &IO is the one that sees the cue and takes the lead in these transformational
initiatives that can make a big difference to the way the Organization performs.
,ost &IO)s of Organizations report to the &-O, I am not sure if this is the right thing to do.
.owever a smart &IO can take advantage of this structure and ensure that they have the
blessings of the &-O to allocate good udgets to I( and Process and "ngineering I( initiatives.
.aving said that in today)s recessionary times, these udget allocations are not easy .+ lot is
e/pected to be achieved with a reduced budget and in least time.
+lso several I( initiatives related to usiness improvements in the past have not been
successful ,mainly because the &IO and the I( teams has never been considered as a reliable
partner to implement and be responsible for such Initiatives and its Implementation.
.ow can the &IO and his team become a trusted usiness partner and how do they first ensure
these udget allocations0 .ow would they get the ,anagement *upport and backing0
-A Business Transformation programme
(he first phase would necessitate the hiring of a usiness Process Improvement &onsultant
who would on a fast track, identify issues across the usiness units, recommend +reas of
12e will not get into details here about the way the programme is to be managed3
(he &onsultant should ideally be asked to recommend a short list of areas of improvement,
those which can provide the Organization with the ma/imum Impact.
-An Innovation drive
There is no point in diluting the efforts of Innovation ! identif!ing far too man! areas for
innovation and improvement as mentioned earlier"
This should e Targeted and onl! those Innovations that can meet the new Business
needs and challenges must e ta#en up"
(he following would be 4"5 to the success of these I( Innovation drives.
-Branding Campaign
A precursor to the Innovation pro$ect should e a well designed and randed campaign"
This campaigns onl! o$ective is to sell this idea within the Business and to ensure that
the entire Business team reali%es the value of this programme and the Business
Outcomes that it is designed to achieve
-&ight Technolog!
Identify a tested and proven (echnology .It)s a good idea to make site visits to organizations
that have implemented these (echnologies successfully and get a good feedback
!&ight 'eader ( &ight team
(he leader should ideally be &IO who shares the usiness 6 the Organization)s vision. .e
should be assisted by a usiness 7eader. (he need for small focused teams comprising 7eads
from I( and usiness is absolutely necessary .(he right leader needs to assist and lead the
team and 'ustify to the &ore team, the need for these innovation drives and the resultant
usiness Outcomes.
-&ight Partner to Implement
Identification of the Right partner to implement is another 4ey need and ideally the selected
product or the technology O" is the right agency to recommend the partner.
!&ight )ethodolog!* +ramewor#
It)s very important to ensure the right methodology which ensures consistent internal
stakeholder support..ow do we manage this0
(he idea is to break up these pro'ects in phases and into small pro'ects rather than go with a
ig bang approach.
&reate small PO&)s, demonstrate small success stories.
(he best way to show proof of success of typical process +utomation or other I( Innovation
drives is to get the %usiness users) to see and measure success!the best way is to implement a
PO& ,develop a small self service portal , where they are able to key in specific data and see
tangible benefits .
8nless the usiness 8sers %do not perceive %this as an "/periment and a Risk, the pro'ect will
not meet its ob'ectives.
If this is achieved, not only the Roll Outs of the pro'ect is guaranteed but also in the least time
and well within the reduced Budgets"
'essons 'earnt
(he &IO must make these success stories visible to his Organization at the right times during
the pro'ect progress. (he ob'ective must be to ensure that the rest of the Organization and key
stake holders are confident about the success and supports him and the usiness teams.
&hange is always resisted9 people get complacent and comfortable doing things the old way. It)s
important for them to e/perience the &hanges Innovation brings and how it lets them achieve
their Ob'ectives better and more efficiently.
*mart &IO)s are the ones that are looking to #Outsource) routine and (ypical *upport and
gearing up to meet the new usiness &hallenges.
(he role of the new age &IO is to lead from the front and move from only supporting the
usiness to one of Contriuting to Business through a string of IT and
Engineering/Process IT Innovation drives that transforms the Business"
,unil &ao
.The Author is a *r "/ecutive in a leading (ier I I( Organisation: