Earlier this month Pierrette de Leeuw Koumans referred to comments on the annual CIO survey of CIO.com, stating CIOs are gaining stature as business strategists. The comments seemed to show a less rosy picture of the involvement of IT and the CIO in the overall business strategy. And, indeed, unfortunately IT is not looked upon as a skilled and respected partner in the business. [Read more...]
In a blog post on the impact of digital business on the enterprise we referred to a survey by CIO.com, stating that CIOs are gaining stature as business strategists. End 2011, we mentioned a McKinsey survey, indicating the business expectations for IT have never been higher. The importance of IT for business gets increasingly emphasized. However, is IT really involved in the business yet?
IT is not a cost centre anymore but a business asset. To fully leverage this, all agree that organizational changes and intensive collaboration are needed. But there is more. [Read more...]
Take these two statements:
“CIO’s used to have to focus just on internal customers. Now they’re expected to be as connected with external audiences, especially customers, as they are with their organisations IT users.”
“Smartphone users are becoming monster customers. They are testing companies with more complex and more emotive calls.” [Read more...]
A number of industries are undergoing some form of technology-driven transformation, but few face the mammoth task of turning a region’s electricity network into an intelligent network – and doing so quick enough so that Belgium has a reasonable chance at achieving Europe’s energy and climate goals. We spoke to Paul Gistelinck, CIO at Eandis.
What are some of the key strategic challenges that Eandis faces?
Given our role in the country’s energy infrastructure, our most important strategic driver today is Europe’s 20-20-20 climate and energy package. Europe has agreed on the targets: a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions and a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, both to be achieved by 2020. The Belgian and Flemish governments have translated these into regulations that have a direct impact on our business activities. [Read more...]
If you work in a technology sector it is difficult to not feel excited about the accelerating pace of innovation and the way it is transforming our lives and economies. Right? Perhaps not. According to some economists the rate of innovation – and its impact on productivity – has been slowing down for decades. This week The Economist dedicated its cover article to the debate on whether technology has a beneficial impact on the economy. It is a fascinating read, but probably not particularly good news for CIOs.
The technology pessimists, led by economists such as Tyler Cowen (George Mason University) and Robert Gordon (North-Western University), but also entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel (a founder of PayPal), argue that innovation has come to a near standstill. They point to the way ‘intensive’ growth – i.e. growth powered by technology as opposed to adding more resources, capital and labour – has leveled off since the 1970s. There was a brief uptick between 1996 and 2004 but that appears to be due to the technology sector’s boom and not, as some like to think, on technology-driven productivity gains in the general economy. [Read more...]
André Vanden Camp, newly appointed CIO at AXA, reflects on the evolution of IT in the banking sector and offers his view on bank’s sourcing strategies
You have spent many years in IT in the banking sector, at ING, Dexia and currently at AXA. How have you seen IT evolve in the sector?
The evolution has been profound. In the 1990s, IT was totally dominant in most banks. If you wanted anything done, you needed IT. IT always had the final word and could make or break any initiative. IT was the centre of the world, and no wonder really, because a bank is a computer. In those days banks also competed very heavily on the basis of IT, such as their ATM networks, internet banking, electronic payments and so on. In the years leading up to 2000, IT was at its pinnacle – eating budgets and resources. However, the business was becoming increasingly frustrated with IT as well. The end came with the millennium bug. Costs had escalated to such an extent preparing for this impending disaster that when it turned out to be harmless the business finally said “enough!” That’s when most banks started shifting massive budgets away from IT toward the business. [Read more...]
Frank Stockx, CIO at ING Belgium, explains why he shuns all talk of business-IT alignment and ‘internal clients’.
According to Frank, IT is part of the business and clients are simply clients. It’s the type of thinking that underpins an ambitious attempt to create value chain teams and KPIs. Read the interview: [Read more...]
Kalman Tiboldi used to be a CIO. Today he’s Chief Business Innovation Officer at TVH Group. It’s a name change that reflects a major shift in IT’s role at TVH. Kalman explains.
Tell us about the name change. What does it mean? What’s in a name?
It’s part of a major transformation programme at TVH. Essentially we’re building a platform for innovation; we’re giving the business, at all levels, the means to constantly improve and innovate their processes. In the process we’re redefining the role of IT in the organisation and are investing heavily in collaboration, mobile and a more component-orientated approach to applications. Each of these priorities deserves a short explanation. [Read more...]
Rudi Peeters has been in the CIO seat at KBC for 18 months. Unusually for CIOs, Rudi has also led the bank’s marketing and strategy divisions. It’s an experience he’s putting to good use. Rudi explains.
As a CIO, Rudi has an interesting career background, having at one point led the marketing division of KBC. Rudi confirms: yes, it has been a fascinating journey. I’ve held positions in IT, sales, strategy and marketing. Most recently I was responsible for strategy and managed the carve out and sale of our affiliates CENTEA and FIDEA.
Technology spending outside of IT was 20% of total technology spending twelve years ago. By the end of this decade it will be… 90%. Gartner mentioned this number at the occasion of its’ Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando. The reason for this fundamental shift are the increasing digitization of business and the convergence of social, mobile, cloud and information patterns.
According to Gartner these same patterns drive new ways of doing business. As an increasing number of business processes and functions are becoming digitized, in the end nearly every budget in a sense thus becomes an IT budget.
This digitization started in functions such as marketing but is rapidly expanding in other areas such as customer service and the core of business models themselves, leading to new revenue streams. [Read more...]