The coronavirus pandemic helps speed up more CIOs towards accountability for business operations

Large companies are beginning to hold chief information officers accountable for the results of their enterprise-wide digital business, greatly expanding their responsibilities within their organizations.

As the economic changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic accelerate the digital transformation of businesses, many executives can see digital efforts from an organization-wide perspective, coordinate activities, and manage risk. I am aware of the need for.Gartner Of a corporation

CIO practice.

This is usually a role associated with the Chief Operating Officer, Hill said. However, many large organizations undergoing digital transformation in more traditional industries such as energy, manufacturing, and retail do not have a COO to coordinate their activities.

By 2024, Gartner, which released its annual list of top strategic forecasts last month, is a quarter of CIOs working in large traditional companies, as research and advisory firms call “COOs on behalf of”. Said that 1 would be virtually.

Many CIOs are already playing a strategic role within the company and are helping to set the direction for the entire enterprise. However, some people continue to manage information technology as a support feature, Hill said.

Over the next few years, these CIOs will be increasingly required to demonstrate more operational accountability. She said they would recommend which company-wide digital projects would be approved, which activities would continue to be funded, and which efforts would be discontinued.

These CIOs are expected to work with business leaders to develop digital products and services and help establish indicators for monitoring digital performance results. They will also be more liable for the success or failure of an organization’s collective investment in digital business, Hill said.

However, Hill added that functional or line-of-business executives, such as those responsible for supply chains and sales leads, remain responsible for the outcomes of the areas they supervise.

“They are taking a much bigger step,” Hill said, adding that public sector entities are also accelerating digital transformation and need the same level of oversight.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co, a financial services company. Neal Sample, Chief Information Officer, oversees most of the company’s digital operations, including customer websites and financial services client portals.

Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual last year, Mr. Sample was a former CIO of Pharmacy Benefits Manager Express Scripts Holding Co. Was Chief Operating Officer at.

Mr. Sample said that Northwestern Mutual has moved from the traditional CIO model to a more operational accountable model.

For example, in the past, the responsibility of the Northwestern Mutual Information Technology Department for corporate websites has been latency and availability issues. Now, as CIO, he said he not only makes sure the site is up and running, but also makes sure it’s busy and the user experience is good.

“We are expected not only to build, fire and forget, but to actually provide the experience, measure the experience and respond to the way the market absorbs it,” he said. Told.

He believes Gartner’s prediction that more CIOs will be held accountable for all digital operations in the enterprise is correct.

“I think it’s a natural trend. It expects more roles, but we should expect more roles,” he said.

Fraser Ingram, Group Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Money PLC, a British bank, said the roles of CIO and COO have become “substitutable” in many digital-focused companies.

Ingram oversees the company’s sourcing, sourcing, customer service, IT and digital activities. Prior to becoming COO, he was CIO and Innovation and Change Director for the organization.

“The ability to put things together to create solutions to business problems is the absolute core of being a good CIO,” he said, and many COOs probably spend 60% to 70% of their time on technology solutions. He added that he is spending time on providing and scanning future technologies. ..

However, Ingram said that in many cases the CIO could be the best person to lead a digital company. “I think it’s easier to build a good CIO with business knowledge and operational experience than to turn an operations person into a good CIO,” says Ingram.

He said there are challenges waiting for the CIO to take responsibility for his digital business. Ingram said CIOs who can’t get away from the technical details may find it difficult to succeed in this new environment. He said they needed to free themselves to think at the corporate and strategic level.

Mr. Sample said that many IT teams are not responsible for the customer experience. They need to do research and learn what their customers want and expect. Consumers are accustomed to the Amazon and iPhone experiences, and CIOs need to learn how to replicate these features, he said.

Still, if the CIOs who are beginning to be accountable for corporate digital operations succeed, more CIOs will be required to assume these responsibilities, Hills said.

Write to John McCormick (

Copyright © 2020 DowJones & Company, Inc. all rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

The coronavirus pandemic helps speed up more CIOs towards accountability for business operations

Source link The coronavirus pandemic helps speed up more CIOs towards accountability for business operations

Back to top button