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CIO Review >> Magazine >> April - 2013 issue

Changing Variables in the CIO's Equation

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Gogo Inc., headquartered in Itasca provides in-flight broadband Internet service, streaming video and other connectivity services for commercial and business aircraft.

In today's times, architectural elegance is a growing requirement in organizations. With problems requiring newer solutions in terms of disruptive technologies we can see plenty of opportunities but at the same time this makes the architecture more complex which gives rise to the requirement of greater planning. This is an area that a CIO must monitor. Needs of business partners such as marketing and customer support are also growing and they need to be aligned with the budget and guidelines laid out by the senior management. A CIO is expected to balance multiple constituents like these together. This seems tougher in today’s era than ever because of multitude of opportunities present.

Disruptive technologies are well on their way to change the face of enterprises and the way they look at IT. Cloud computing is one of the crucial technology trends that is molding the future of the industry in a big way. Moving assets and process components to the cloud has a huge impact on streamlining business processes and improving cycle time. This technology entails advantages such as it being asset-light, which helps IT organizations steer the focus towards the core issues more and making an organization move faster.

With cloud computing gaining momentum, mobile is another trend that is already changing the way the enterprise and consumers interact. The penetration of smart phones has made computing truly mobile today. These devices bring the end user closer to the business and have managed to cut out a lot of the processes and layers in between. This has also increased the importance of the technology organization. More than ever, IT now plays a transformational role in an organization.

As technology advances and companies adapt to these change; in this environment a CIO always requires to focus on finding the right talent that fits the requirements of a job. This process has always been tough but the complexities are growing manifolds now with the advent of newer technologies.

To solve all these issues and to ensure growth, innovation is the key. It is very important to create a culture within the team that fosters innovation. People who become good examples to the rest of the organization must be hired. Recognizing and rewarding innovation at all levels of the organization irrespective of its size is a necessity. Apple’s iPhone is a great example of innovation in technology. The simplicity of intuitiveness of the device has changed the expectations of user interfaces for all software. Companies should try and incorporate this streak of innovation in all their products and services.

But innovations alone will not help growth. The enterprise environment faces several challenges; the solutions from different vendors cannot be nitrated easily. It becomes mandatory for the vendors to follow or adapt up to date industry standards. The need of the hour is to address this issue where the equation in demand can be facilitated.

A CIO also needs to balance the 'demands' pertaining to projects, ideas and opportunities, of the business with the limited 'supply'in terms of budget and manpower. This is a never-ending challenge faced by a CIO. Initiating a project prioritization process that puts the business partners in charge of prioritization is a possible solution. The concept though is simpler said than done. All these elements put together will enable the CIO and the enterprise alike.