New CIO Strategies for the Digital Age


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The Financial Times, in partnership with HP, recently held an event in Helsinki to discuss new CIO strategies for the digital age. Topics discussed included customer engagement, consistent delivery of service across all channels, how to deal with unstructured data, and security concerns in an era of BYOD and cloud services. This white paper highlights key discussion points from the event.

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New CIO Strategies for the Digital Age

  2. 2. Agenda 18:00 Guest arrival and welcome refreshments 18:15 Welcome remarks Maija Palmer, Social Media Correspondent, Financial Times 18:20 Guest introductions and first course is served 18:30 Discussion begins: New CIO Strategies for the Digital Age Themes to be addressed: • Which developments have had the biggest impact on your organisation over the last year? • Technology dictates the ways in which customers can interact with the business, but does your IT department engage with customers? • As customers become increasingly tech-savvy and demanding, are you delivering a consistent service across all channels? What challenges do you face when dealing with unstructured data? • Faced with the rising number of employees using their own devices and greater use of cloud services for applications and data storage, which security risks concern you the most, and how can they be managed? • What strategies do you have in place to drive innovation and support business growth? And do you have sufficient budget to achieve this? • To what extent does the IT department collaborate with other parts of the company in order to achieve strategic objectives? • Looking ahead, what key challenges do you foresee in the future? 19:50 Concluding remarks Maija Palmer, Social Media Correspondent, Financial Times THE CONVERGENCE OF DIGITAL AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
  3. 3. Summary Report By Maija Palmer The Chief Information Officers of some of Finland’s largest companies are annoyed by the suggestion that their role may be becoming obsolete. “Typical Gartner hype,”said one, dismissively, referring to a 2012 paper by the technology research company which suggested that by 2017 the Chief Marketing Officer of a company is likely to have a bigger IT budget than the CIO. Few of these chiefs are prepared to hand over control of their domain to others. “I would be ashamed if our company had to hire a Chief Digital Officer,”said another CIO, in response to the recent trend for companies to hire a more digitally focused technology chief. “The new digital technologies that are coming in are part of business as usual; we have to handle them just as we would anything else.” But there is a growing feeling that a new type of CIO is needed for the new digital world - one that is able to communicate better.Almost all the CIOs gathered at the Financial Times and HP roundtable dinner agreed that there was a rift between the IT department and the rest of the business which needed to be mended. “We are often bad at selling ourselves,”admitted one senior IT professional attending the New CIO Strategies for the Digital Age event.The CIOs all agreed that they would like more say in the top level decision-making at the company, to be involved at an earlier planning stage, and to be seen as idea-generators rather than simply the“boiler-room boys”who keep the servers running. CIOs are trying different strategies to give their teams more visibility. One of them hired a non- technical, business development specialist for his technology team, specifically to act as a kind of “translator”between the technologists and the sales and marketing team.A year on, it is working well, he said. Others like the idea of getting their technical staff to spend time circulating in different departments in order to gain a better understanding of business needs and to make contacts across the business. A really good CIO would have an overview not only of all the technology that is in use in the company but also of how it is being used by the different teams, so that they could advise on best practice and make sure that any innovations and shortcuts discovered by one team could be passed on to others in the company.
  4. 4. THE CONVERGENCE OF DIGITAL AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Sometimes there is frustration, however, that IT is still shoehorned to fit around the way a business currently works. Many feel their businesses would benefit from looking at the new technology that has become available and radically changing business practices to take advantage of these. Some are worried that their companies will be overtaken by smaller, nipper start-ups which have no legacy systems to maintain. There are some big differences in attitude between the CIOs in areas like media, banking and retail and the more heavy industry sectors, such as mining and manufacturing. In the industrial sectors the digital age and the era of‘Bring Your Own Device”still feel theoretical.“Why should every employee be allowed to choose their own IT equipment?” asks one CIO.“You don’t choose the company credit card provider or the corporate travel agent.” Their peers in banking and retail smile weakly.They are further down this road, their businesses have already been shaken up digitalisation and they are resigned to supporting a mobile workforce across multiple types of devices. “You can’t stop it, it is going to happen anyway, so you might as well make sure you can control it,” is their pragmatic view. But even those in the traditional industries are starting to watch new developments - from 3D printing to robotics and the Internet of Things - closely.Their daily routine may still be one of cutting costs and keeping the IT infrastructure running.They are not talking much - yet - of new marketing projects and ventures. But they are starting to look. “I have seen a lot of industries - media, music, banking - surprised by new technologies,”says one of the heavy industry CIOs.“I am determined not to let that happen to us.”
  5. 5. BIOGRAPHIES CHAIR Maija Palmer Social Media Correspondent Financial Times Maija Palmer was appointed Social Media Correspondent in May 2013. Prior to this role, she worked on the Business Life section of the Financial Times. She was Technology Correspondent from May 2011, writing about technology and media, and joined the FT in 1999 as IT Correspondent. Before joining the FT, Ms Palmer worked at Law Business Research, as an assistant editor of the Global Competition Review, a magazine about competition and antitrust law. She has a degree in Communications from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies. In November 2005, Ms Palmer was named Techmark Journalist of the Year by the London Stock Exchange’s Techmark segment for innovative technology companies.
  6. 6. For more updates, please see our Facebook page: Financial Times Live group: FOLLOW FT LIVE For live updates from events and to participate on Twitter: t v ą Financial Times Live, the global conferences and events arm of the Financial Times, gathers pre-eminent public and private sector decision-makers, visionaries and strategists from the world’s most important economies and industries for a wide range of interactive, agenda-setting programmes that combine the power of on-site discussion and networking with the flexibility of live-streamed and on-demand broadcasting. Chaired by senior journalists from the Financial Times and its group publications, the summits, conferences, awards and strategic forums organised by FT Live provide audiences with the opportunity to listen to and interact with speakers of the highest calibre in lively and stimulating debates that cover the key issues of our time. The Financial Times provides essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. It has a combined print and online average daily readership of 2.1 million people worldwide and a combined paid print and digital circulation of almost 629,000 (Deloitte assured, Q3 2013). FT education products now serve 34 of the world’s top 50 business schools. ORGANISERS
  7. 7. THE CONVERGENCE OF DIGITAL AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE The work we do at HP Enterprise Services starts and ends with our clients. We listen, we care, and we stand by them – aspiring to deliver the best client experience in the industry with targeted business and technology solutions to over 1,000 large businesses and governments in 90 countries. For more than 50 years, HP Enterprise Services has been a safe pair of hands and dedicated partner to enterprises and governments around the globe. We help our clients evolve their IT to enable business strategies – creating better customer experience, empowering employees, or driving new business models. It’s what keeps our clients relevant and ahead of the competition. We advance the way they use technology through our infrastructure outsourcing and project services, business process outsourcing, and applications services. We advise, transform, and manage to advance each enterprise, no matter where they are in the journey. We are successful when they are successful.
  8. 8. Financial Times Live One Southwark Bridge London SE1 9HL UK T: +44 (0) 20 7775 6653 E: