IT managers and executives, regardless of which industry they are in, all face similar challenges: from rising business demands and increased pressure to keep technology costs down, to implementing transformational change throughout their organizations. These are just some of the major issues with which CIOs must contend today, and ones that will continue to cause concern for the foreseeable future. Overcoming these challenges entails that CIOs and IT professionals strive to break the mold of tried-and-true processes and embrace the tools, techniques and technologies that can bring about real organizational change.
At the recent Evanta New York CIO Executive Summit, the globally recognized leadership and networking conference for IT executives, we saw firsthand the best practices and new ideas that can help IT organizations achieve cost optimization of their technology resources. Held on May 30 at the New York Marriott Marquis, the summit included a world-class roster of speakers, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who shared their cutting-edge leadership expertise. The event also gave us insight into the biggest pain points facing CIOs today, enabling us to continue to focus our efforts on developing solutions that address their needs and bring greater efficiencies and improvements to the way they run their businesses.
Although it was a few weeks ago, there are several overarching themes we picked up at the conference that remain top of mind for us, and certainly many of the attendees:
The need for a better partnership with business clients – One of the biggest challenges for IT organizations is getting other business leaders and their departments on the same page. At a time when CMOs and other department leaders often act independently to acquire and implement their technology solutions, such a decentralized process can lead to higher costs and less visibility into the organization’s total IT investment. Many of the speakers addressed this issue by providing unique strategies that can be adapted to the individual cultures of their organizations. By working to understand the current technology utilization and costs across all departments and locations, and their future needs, the IT organizations can ensure all technology decisions are centralized. As a result, they will be able to create strong alignment with the concerns of internal business clients and more effectively consult with other department leaders to select and implement their applications.
The ability to respond to challenges at a moment’s notice – A common concern among attendees of the Evanta summit was the need for heightened awareness of business conditions to respond in real time before issues become unmanageable. Though many speakers addressed this issue, it was most front and center during Giuliani’s keynote address. Drawing on his experience leading New York City through the horrific events of 9/11, his inspiring speech touched on key facets of crisis management, and how it should be a priority for all leaders. The crucial leadership insight learned at the Evanta Summit can equip all attendees with the skills to portray strong leadership in any condition. In the face of a struggling economy, the ability to provide leadership through any hardship is integral to ensuring ongoing success.
Achieving a state of technology-enabled innovation – Another critical obstacle for IT personnel and executives is developing a state of continuous improvement. No more is the main objective of IT to keep the lights on with a business-as-usual approach. Instead, a top priority of today’s IT leaders is to improve budgets and increase innovation, with the ultimate goal of increasing profits. The Evanta summit showed how IT leaders must take a larger role in delivering business process improvements. By understanding the actions they can take to improve transparency in terms of their technology spend, they can better forecast and budget for their IT utilization, which will lead to greater cost optimization throughout their organizations.
Although each CIO in attendance of the Evanta Executive Summit represented different industries, and their circumstances, issues and roadmaps for the future vary widely, they all had similar concerns. In our conversations, we learned that most CIOs are no longer looking through just the IT lens; more than ever, they understand how their departments relate to the company as a whole, and what they can do to improve enterprise-wide performance.
By meeting with both attendees of the summit, and the business leaders who shared their insight and thought leadership, we learned that there is clearly a market need for the comprehensive ITFBM solutions that ComSci delivers. Equipped with software that can provide the insight needed to work more closely with other business units, take appropriate action in crisis situations and commit to ongoing improvement, CIOs can lead their entire organizations to success.