CIOs across the industry spectrum are being impacted by the immediate real-time world they find themselves in. This publication offers an organizational response toward maintaining system relevance in order to sustain their market position in a practical and cost effective manner.

The Environmental Reality

The Chief Information Officer, along with their associated largely legacy, system environments, are at risk of quickly becoming irrelevant, rather than innovators, to the companies they support. Their response can be to either embrace traditional software/hardware delivery paradigms or reinvent themselves as Chief Innovation Officers. The CIO is compelled, by the business they support, to bring innovation through strategic system initiatives, which respond to business needs measured in weeks and months rather than years.

The external business environments most companies face today reflect consumers interacting regularly through real-time communication enablers (social media). Consumers are reinventing their interaction standard, based upon the latest advances in content enablers and/or the supporting hardware.

The Response

On the surface, the response to the new environmental realities seems straight forward: remove legacy barriers & enable innovation. While the business, and many CIOs want to respond quickly to external environmental factors, they still need to generate financial statements, meet payrolls, comply with industry regulators, etc.

The most important attributes requisite for CIOs to deal effectively with this paradoxical legacy vs. innovation based technology environment, is their ability to deal with both equally as effectively. For CIOs being recruited into established companies, the highest recruiting attribute should be the candidate’s tenacity to be relevant, not only in emerging technologies, but also manage legacy environments equally effectively.

The CIO Organization

In order to effectively respond to emergent business imperatives, the CIO needs to change their organizational configuration. They need to add two new organizational pillars, to the traditional IT Organization, in order for the CIO to effectively respond to the IT environmental realities of today:

1. The Emergent System Technology Team

This team is enabled to acquire innovative systems, and related technologies. They also are enabled to enhance legacy data though external data sources. Their key measurement is the strategic market differentiation they create based upon their innovative use of new technology, as well as enhanced customer data.

2. The Emergent Data Interchange Team

This team has a new and innovative objective, to become the bridge between the legacy environment, and the emergent technology team. In essence, this team is charged with making the organizational systems, and their associated data, appear to the outside world as an integrated, single view of the customer. They need to integrate data and related systems, in a manner that customers feel they are interacting with the company’s disparate systems as an integrated whole.


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