5 Imperatives to Becoming A Service-Oriented CIO
I had the pleasure of attending the CIO Magazine Symposium & Awards event and hosting an esteemed panel of CIOs and IT leaders. The panelists from CareFusion, Creative Artists Agency and Toyota Financial Services, described how IT gained the confidence of their business peers and became trusted advisors. While some pundits believe IT is falling deeper into a state of irrelevancy, this group of CIOs sent a stern message that IT is not only alive – it is thriving as the backbone of the modern enterprise.
During our discussion, the panel members honed in on the topic of enterprise service management. They provided a number of examples of where they leveraged the IT service model to help their business peers deliver more efficient services inside and outside the enterprise. We covered a lot of ground during the discussion, but here are five insights that stuck with me:
- Become the digital evangelist in your organization. It is time to make the shift from infrastructure keeper to innovation driver. It’s more than just about cost cutting; for our panelists it becomes about IT’s role in enabling new revenue opportunities and transforming the way lines-of-business operate.
- ‘Amazon’ (or Consumerize) your user services. This means a fundamental shift away from starting with technology and instead taking a user-centric view of services. For one panelist, the user-centric approach is represented well through the simplicity of ordering pizza online. Making services accessible – from anywhere on any device – is a must. IT is best positioned to enable this shift because IT is best at measuring and managing processes and workflows – No other group can do this as well.
- Identify Easy Wins for Automation. One of our panelists put it best: where email is used as a demand channel, there’s a high degree of automation-readiness. Groups like procurement, legal, and corporate compliance benefit quickly when key processes can be taken out of email.
- Prepare for the rule of more to drive internal demand. The more users and employees see and benefit from automation and new ways to work, the more they want it – and the more they demand change. Leveraging modern platforms like ServiceNow to deliver change at speed is the prescription for success. One panelist called this the ‘secret sauce’ of ServiceNow – any changes, automation and process flows can be developed and introduced within ServiceNow fast, and in turn, IT can iterate just as fast on the platform. The net result is an accelerated time-to-value. The panelists all agree that the best solutions are modern and easily customizable.
- Stress the realized value that comes from service delivery transformation. Automation frees up people to focus less on the process required to do a job and more on the job they need to do. This realized value means the role of IT becomes more strategic across the business. One CIO spoke about shutting down a 4000 square foot data center as a success and another points to an expected cut of $100M in running costs over the next several years based on the transformation he’s leading across his enterprise.
A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.
According to one CIO on the panel, the technology in some form has been around to enable automation. What’s new now is the coming together of technology and need. And as lines of business see the speed at which IT is innovating, the stature of IT is elevated to one of advisor and not just home for ‘break fixes’.