martedì 26 agosto 2008

Il CIO del futuro

Riporto un recente (26 agosto) interessante post di Jim Rudden, Vice President of Global Marketing in Lombardi software

For their recent InformationWeek Analytics 2008 Tomorrow’s CIO Survey, the well-known trade publication quizzed 720 corporate managers, including CEOs, CFOs, and COOs, as well as CIOs and VPs of IT-level executives, about the attributes most desirable for future business technology leaders. IW’s John Soat then posted an excellent write-up of the survey’s findings, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. John writes:“Whether they know it or not–and most do–companies need an executive leader well versed in both technology and business processes. The CIO position is tailor made to take that role. . .the question is, which CIOs will step up to it?”

This chart (also below) based on the survey’s findings isn’t surprising if you’ve been looking at things from a process point of view as long as we have, but it’s not trivial that respondents noted “Need to manage or optimize business process” as the #1 priority as the CIO continues to strive to become more of a business leader.

Jon also writes:

“A similar question, with a similar response, was this: ‘What do you see as the main opportunities before CIOs today?’ The No. 1 answer by both CIOs and corporate managers is ‘improve and/or innovate new business processes’. . . the CIO’s overview of corporate-wide systems and applications gives the CIO as deep and encompassing an understanding of the organization’s business processes as any executive, on par with that of the CEO and CFO. It makes sense that the CIO would seek–and be called on–to leverage that process expertise.”

Let’s go a little further though, because insofar as process excellence is top-of-mind, what exactly is driving this focus on business-side leadership?

The evolving role of the CIO (and by extension the IT organization itself), of course. The fact of the matter is that any true executive leader will be fluent in both technology and business principle – and the processes that govern the cross-functional nature of today’s leading companies.

As always, technology leadership remains important – the ability to look into the future and understand which technologies will have strategic value and ongoing impact is a necessary skill. But today, business-side savvy is equally important, a fact that Harvey Koeppel, executive director of the Center for CIO Leadership, echos in the article, explaining that for CIO’s, “speaking the language of the C-suite, development of one-to-one relationships, and driving the agenda” are paramount, because “[CIO’s are] at the center of the most important trends in business today.”

And InformationWeek isn’t the only place where this trend is being put front and center. In April, IT Week (UK) wrote a great piece summarizing Gartner’s 2008 worldwide survey, which likewise determined that BPM has become CIO’s top priority.

We at Lombardi are proud of our leadership position in BPM, in no small part because we have been aggressively talking about business-focused technology and cross-functional roles since the very beginning. We haven’t shied away from explaining why BPM will become the focus of solution engineering at enterprises large and small.

As technology continues to underwrite the business in an ever-more fundamental sense, we’ll continue to see process take center stage. The question I have for our readers though is – although the trend isn’t exactly anything new, has BPM indeed gone mainstream? Are you approaching the same tipping point at your company?

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