CIO magazine started out with a different title and a different agenda - not unlike most of the men and women who are CIOs today - so this issue is notable for two reasons. First, CIO has left the ComputerWorld nest and is flying alone. (This won't be news to a lot of you who've been receiving the stand alone version of CIO for some time now.)Secondly, the publisher of CIO, IDG Communications, has promoted Andrew Birmingham, previously the editor-in-chief of ComputerWorld, to the position of CIO. This is a pivotal role in an organisation which is all about information gathering and delivery.
The fact that the person in charge of IDG's information and information systems will spend as much time in the boardroom as the backroom should come as no surprise to other CIOs, who have long touted technology's importance to - and its ability to improve - a company's operations. But in the past, few executives fully understood technology's power to transform a company and profoundly influence business strategy.
Even today, most people in a company don't realise what technology can do for them. The CIO can be the conduit and the link between what is possible and what is done. Do not underestimate how important this is, because whether business needs are changing technology or technology is changing business, the "old" business model is on the wane. The "new" business architects are using "new" technologies - such as the Internet and the Web - to build on a base of ongoing customer service, with an eye to creating new revenue streams, opening new markets and retaining current clients.
Certainly that is the case here at IDG. Like companies everywhere, IDG is looking to create value from the vast amounts of information we generate, and have access to as a global organisation.
As Birmingham says: "Information is at the hub of everything we do at IDG, so it's important from a management perspective that we use technology not only to more efficiently deliver that information but also to add value to it. IT is about competitive advantage and customer service."Welcome to the club Andrew.
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