Editor's Letter: CIOs Can Play a Big Role in Business Evolution
- 30 January, 2013 14:35
Develop entrepreneurial spirit. Incubate new businesses. Borrow ideas from other industries. Barrage the marketplace with innovative products.
If that list sounds like a load of business-school babble to you, consider the real-world example of a company once called Mohawk Fine Papers (now known just as Mohawk), which is doing all of the above to great effect.
In a world gone digital, a company whose very name signalled "business model in trouble" is staving off obsolescence by deliberately disrupting its revenue model. "We had to do something radically different or we'd be out of business," says Paul Stamas, VP of IT at the paper manufacturer. "You can't walk away from who you are or what you did, but you need to evolve."
The dire necessity of business evolution--and the critical impact CIOs can have on that process--is the focus of our cover story, " CIOs Can Help Their Companies Survive Industry Disruption." Managing Editor Kim S. Nash uses examples of well-known business models under siege (Avon, Netflix and Best Buy) to underscore the point that IT plays a more central role than ever before in the rise and fall of almost any company.
"CIOs need to heed the law of the business jungle: Disrupt or be disrupted," she writes. "It's a familiar pattern--disrupter moves in, flies high, then becomes disrupted as markets and technologies evolve. Competitors emerge from unexpected places."
While fine-tuning business processes delivers laudable results for IT leaders in the short term, that work rarely positions your company to make any dazzling leaps into new businesses. CIOs are overly fond of best practices, which are, by definition, tried-and-true, not innovative.
One compelling example in our story highlights how pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is looking outside its own industry to partner with big-data experts at UK-based McLaren Group, a collection of high-tech companies best known for Formula 1 race car engineering. GSK plans to leverage McLaren's predictive analytics tools to make faster decisions about drug inventory and pricing.
Another interesting story is unfolding at OfficeMax, where bigger rivals like Staples and Office Depot are no longer the main focus. As players like Target and Amazon invade the office-supply space, OfficeMax's chief digital officer now thinks more broadly about competitors. "We're all just a click away from each other," he points out. "We have to pick our game up."
Disrupt or die.
Read more about cio role in CIO's CIO Role Drilldown.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
- International Mobile Communications: How To Balance Connectivity, Productivity And Cost Concerns
- The SPARC Difference - Reduce Risks, Cut Costs, Power Innovation
- Accelerate Cloud and Composite Application Delivery
- Appropriate Backup Applications for Accelerated Virtualisation Projects
- Information Security, Virtualisation, and the Journey to the Cloud
Updated: Bill Morrow new head of NBN Co
Cloud debate now about speed and sophistication
Cloud debate now about speed and sophistication
Yahoo Mail still down for some users, after an attempted fix
Queensland government to provide 200 services online by 2015
Unleashing the Power of Information
If business-relevant information is not well managed, secured and analysed, it can become an underutilized asset or—worst case—a legal and competitive liability. Nearly all of the IT and business executives who responded to a recent survey recognise this risk, and say they understand the importance of having an enterprise information management (EIM) strategy. Find out more on how to reduce costs, improve competitiveness and avoid risk by making information management an enterprisewide strategic priority.
Is your data centre growing too complex for your backup?
Backing up data today is growing more complex - and in an era of virtualisation, big data and cloud deployments, it can be difficult to maintain control over your data, resulting in loss and downtime. This hour-long webcast features expert commentary on navigating the complexity of backing up a heavily virtualised infrastructure; simplifying your backup software and hardware ecosystem; reducing the cost of backing up your organisation’s data, and modernising your backup infrastructure with integration. The presentations will conclude with an interactive Q&A session.
2014 Foundations of Pathways | 9 Executive Core Business Competencies
CIOs who want to shift their leadership focus beyond the IT function need to cultivate and emphasise leadership competencies that will equip them to lead effectively at the enterprise level and at the business strategy table.