Over the last year there has been a distinct evolution in business expectations from CIOs. This change is evident through the Gartner CIO 2006 survey where the top 5 priorities are 1. Business Process Improvement 2. Controlling costs 3. Attracting and growing customer relationship 4. Improving competitive advantage 5. Improving competitivness.
These priorities have clearly evolved from last years priorities which were 1. Business Process Improvements 2. Security 3. Costs 4. Supporting competitive advantage 5. Data protection & privacy.
These trends will accelerate over this year and CIOs will be expected to leverage technology and truely deliver business innovation. Over last few years IT departments were expected to streamline operations and reduce costs. While the pressure on costs still remain and wider economic risks still loom in the horizon, achieving business growth is back on boardroom agenda and this will trickle down IT departments in form of expectations for new applications, services & infrastructure.
The one clear area of opportunity for IT to deliver on these expectations is customer relationships, customer interface, front office capabilities. CIO have to look beyond their enterprise silos and immerse themselves in some of the amazing ways users, customers are using the web. Refer to my earlier post on "Future of Marketing". These trends are best appreciated through first hand experience. Are you a blogger, are you linkedin, where are you in myspace, did you check out that podcast, how do you search for information etc. etc.
CIOs are in a unique position to seize initiative and show leadership across functional boundaries of marketing, operations, HR as the next wave of business innovation will be technology led.