• Know Your Customer: Top 10 CIO Issues

    In today’s customer-driven economy, customers have more choices and more knowledge and more options and are more fickle than ever before. CIOs need to be business drivers with huge technological vision and expertise, rather than just technology leaders who feel that customers are someone else’s responsibility.  And as more and more companies begin to transform their IT assets into engines of growth that help their companies anticipate, accelerate, and engage, CEO-level tolerance for old-fashioned CIOs will decline, then dwindle, and soon disappear.  To help ensure you’re on the right side of this wrenching change, here’s a sampling of the list of the Top 10 CIO Issues:

    2. The Power Of Transformation And Transformative Thinking. Yes, the word “transformation” has been overused to the point where some folks think a PC upgrade cycle is transformative—I’m not talking about that. No, the real issue for CIOs is helping their companies transform from what they have been in the past into what they need to be to succeed in the future. And that means developing processes and systems and applications that go beyond reconciling what happened last month, and begin to point to where opportunities will lie in the future. That means business analytics—and this transformation is the first step in helping companies anticipate, accelerate, and lead.

    7. Social Media: CIOs Shift From Grudging Acceptance To Hair-On-Fire Evangelism. It’s not an issue of security or privacy or the perception of goofing off; rather, it’s all about understanding and deploying tools that help you company spot trends more rapidly end effectively, pick up far-flung pieces of market intelligence that can be assembled into powerful patterns, engage with customers in their preferred formats and media, and spread the word more forcefully to people whose mere participation in social media tells you that they are at least willing to become engaged, which is half the battle! While your main priority must be to help lead the strategic initiative throughout the company, your own highly visible personal involvement can be a huge factor. As an example, SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann has become a big voice among customers and influencers on Twitter—check him out at @sapcio or via  www.sap.com/cio.

    8. The Soaring Value Of Customer Engagement: What’s The CIO’s Role? Social media’s just one piece, but soon every department in your company will need to have mechanisms in place to understand how their teams can contribute to turning prospects into customers, and customer satisfaction into customer loyalty, and customer loyalty into the crown jewel of customer participation in the co-creation of products, experiences, and value. It’s the final piece in the trifecta of anticipate, accelerate, and engage—don’t get left behind on this one!

    9. The iPad Explosion: Leveraging Mobile Innovation For Major Competitive Advantage. While iPad’s been the most visible, the coming wave of tablets from RIM and HP and others will, in combination with smartphones, continue to hammer away at traditional models of doing business—even models that until recently seemed quite adequate. Real-time decision-making at the point of the customer will not tolerate old-fashioned approaches such as, “Well, let me have the team back at the office run through some pricing models and I’ll get back to you” or “We can probably get you the shipment by that date if you really need it” or “I wish I could show you your buying trends for the past year but I’ll have to ask my inside partner to email that to you sometime later today or tomorrow.” Be honest: are those sorts of comments going to be acceptable to customers by the end of this year? Are they even acceptable today?

    To see the complete list of Top CIO Issues, go to Bob Evans – The Innovation Business blog.

    Bob Evans is VP Strategic Communications for SAP and the author of The Innovation Business blog that explores the dynamic ways in which businesses in every industry are striving to remake themselves to meet the rapidly evolving needs and desires of customers in our always-on world.  Bob was formerly Senior VP, Editorial Director and Content Director for CMP Media and TechWeb.

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