The 2014 CIO Agenda Unveiled

The results of the annual Gartner survey of CIOs and their priorities found that while there weren’t any huge shifts, there is a radical disruption occurring across all industries and geographies.

The survey, released at the 2014 Garner CIO Leadership Forum, polled more than 2,400 CIOs to understand their priorities for the year. While it may be the Chinese Year of Horse, Gartner suggests CIOs are in the shadow of the “Digital Dragon.”

Gartner found that half of the CIOs surveyed are concerned the digital torrent is coming faster than they can cope, and 42% don’t feel they have the talent needed to face this future. With this lack of confidence, it’s no surprise that consumer technologies largely outstripped their corporate counterparts in the last five years.

Editor in Chief Maryfran Johnson of CIO Magazine has in the passed shared a unique observation regarding the unique environment for today’s CIOs. The top three goals for CIOs, set by their CEOs, are also their top three challenges. In addition, as the CIO elevates the IT/business relations through engaging stakeholders more effectively, they find it difficult to get their staff to be more business-oriented.

The message from and to CIOs is clear; how does IT optimize for innovation and the growth that comes as a result, and managing costs to drive operational efficiencies.

Multitasking for Change
At Dell, we believe there should be a business reason above all trends and technology that should trigger a change. We call this methodology business case-driven innovation. Business case-driven innovation evaluates each technology project by the business value it creates.

Emerging technologies are inherently disruptive, and their destabilizing effects are plainly evident in the large enterprise. Corporate concerns such as data loss prevention, risk management, regulatory compliance, and other security and legal issues are rightly a high priority for the enterprise because of potential adverse brand, financial and legal implications. But these new technologies still require serious consideration for enterprise use. They are valuable, ubiquitous, and they are not going away.

The challenge for today’s IT organizations is proving that new and innovative technologies can improve employee productivity, increase employee satisfaction, and improve the overall end-user experience of IT tools and systems while ensuring a secure IT environment can be daunting.

The Dell Innovation team developed a decision model that quantifies both the business and user experience benefits of a given idea. Below is a very quick overview of the model:

1. Collect ideas from business leaders and end users and develop user stories
2. Conduct analysis with business leaders to estimate costs/benefits of each user story to measure ROI
3. Use crowdsourcing with end users to measure pain-factor of each story
4. Estimate expected complexity and integration associated with each story
5. Populate the model and provide results to the decision committee for review
6. Select user stories that exceed ROI and pain factor thresholds for development – place others in product backlog

This approach strives to balance the needs of the business units with feedback from end users on how to meet those needs in a productive way.

Whether it’s identified as a macro trend or Gartner’s digital dragon, these are clearly creating new challenges and new opportunities for IT leaders. It’s pushing them out of the data center and into a seat at the strategy table, all while they have to maintain their traditional job of delivering the traditional IT services.

One Response to “The 2014 CIO Agenda Unveiled”

  1. Peter says:

    I think the previous anon msseid the point. Your thought of IT “alignment” may not coincide with the article definition (as mine didn’t). The notion of alignment in the article leads to the kingdom building you mention as evidenced in this quote from the article: “CIOs used to measure their personal value by budget or headcount and their team’s value by delivering on time and on budget.” These metrics lead to CIOs building their kingdom without the biz understanding the value.I don’t think the goal is to stand apart, it’s to engage instead of simply aligning (standing parallel). To be seen as integral to the business like any other department-operations, HR, etc.- and in fact MORE integral.

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