CIOs Must Develop New Strategic Business Capabilities

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Bangalore: While CIOs now are looking at how IT is responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals, future  CIOs will be designated to facilitate business leaders classify, develop and inculcate new strategic business capabilities (SBCs) that restore their businesses to full strength in the post-recession world. Says Gartner, Inc. those who don’t may find themselves tangential as they explored how IT can make a more strategic contribution to the business.

“If you think the task ahead of you (the CIO) is simply to introduce a new technology, standardize a disparate set of computer systems across the corporation, update vendor agreements and revise the IT governance structure for your company — think again,” said Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner fellow.

Huge companies contend by progressing SBCs. Customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management are two apparent instances of SBC. These are not “merely” technologies; they engage process changes, mind-set shifts, new job roles and organization changes.

“Think of SBCs as a vector through which technology changes the way companies do business, and SBCs also creates industry disruption. A number of these major business strategic ‘weapons’ are moving to a point of maturity where they can provide considerable new business value,” said Mr. Raskino. “The pipeline of newer and emerging SBCs is very healthy. For these reasons, we believe IT will continue to have disruptive potential, in business strategy terms, for at least 15 years. These major innovations depend on funding, ingenuity and market development. Even if Moore's law stopped next year, we believe that most of them would continue to fruition.”

Analysts, nonetheless, say SBCs are getting more multifaceted and exigent as they call for skillful and often enterprise-wide change management at the transformation level which carries failure risks on important funds, and many CEOs may find simpler and easier ways to compete and win new business. The least resistant path may be the obstacle to SBC-based business progression.

The Strategic Business Capabilities Hype Cycle fashioned by Gartner plots SBCs at their various phases of progression. Analysts say that the Hype Cycle will help enterprises identify the biggest value-producing potential IT that is facilitating progressive businesses.

At the initial stages, the task is to allot funds to R&D, in order to give the organization the alternative to invest in the SBC later. The main window of investment opportunity comes next, that is the period when leading organizations, through their own trial and error, incubate and define the SBC itself, gaining perhaps five years or more of competitive advantage. M-commerce is being defined by leaders now - for example, what mobile banking will look like and how it is controlled.  

For organizations that wait until later, fast follower, or copying, action will reduce the negative effects of industry distractions. Those who leave any decision until the Plateau of Productivity are more likely to find themselves at an increasing comparative disadvantage and must invest quickly to repair damage to business results.


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