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CIOs Go Beyond Competitive

By John McCormick  |  Posted 12-19-2007 Print

Futurist James Canton foresees the CIO motivating the rest of the organization, including the CEO and the board, to change.


Yet it seems like a lot of companies call on their CIOs to do just that, to find ways to use technology for competitive advantage.

I'm going to even go further. The next phase of this is CIOs being the ones who propose new products, new services and new strategies.

In other words, CIOs need to own the competitive advantage and then champion that as opposed to just waiting to be called upon by the CEO or the board.

But I don't think that most CIOs spend much time dealing with the process of change.

Let me go to a very tactical area. Every CIO is doing work on, and is interested in, the change process that is critical to transforming the organization's business processes. But that work really has not been done. We're still putting Band-Aids on business processes. We're still dealing with everything from brittle code to legacy infrastructures.

The fundamental redefinition and transformation of business process has been done by less than 30 to 45 percent of companies.

What should CIOs do?

I often tell CIOs they should spend a day, or half a day, and get together not just with their team, but with people from other parts of the organization--marketing, finance, product and service development, you name it--and play Let's Kill Our Company. What would the competitive threat look like that would make our company go away? Now what do we do to anticipate that surprise, that threat?

That's a very different approach to risk management.

I encourage CIOs worldwide to play more risk management games, to be able to do risk management audits, to be able to understand and expand the paradigm of what risk is.

Next page: Predicting Change


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