CIOs Shift Focus to the Front Office

By Michael Vizard  |  Posted 04-23-2014 Email

CIOs are increasingly shifting their focus from the back office to the front office, where marketing, sales and service managers work directly with customers, as part of a concerted effort to make IT more relevant than ever to the overall business, according to a new study from IBM. After conducting a worldwide study of 1,656 face-to-face interviews with CIOs in 20 different industries, the IBM Institute for Business Value has released a report finding that 60 percent of the CIOs are focusing on projects that ultimately serve to improve the overall customer experience. At the crux of those efforts are projects that, to varying degrees, make data more accessible to the business. The study suggests that while CIOs spend most of their time today on tactical issues, the vast majority of CIOs want to be spending most of their time on strategic initiatives within the next three to five years. To get closer to their customers, CIOs are largely focusing on mobile computing and analytics. Perhaps most interesting, the IBM study makes it clear that CIOs keenly desire to extend the reach of their partner network to gain access to latest innovative technologies in each of these areas.

Mike Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWeek, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.


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