George Colony, CEO at Forrester Research, a leading technology and business analysis firm, also advocates CIOs rethinking their role to focus on business technology. Thinking in terms of BT rather than IT allows CIOs to demonstrate that they no longer “spoke a different language or saw the world through a different lens” than CEOs, Colony noted in a blog on the Businessweek Web site in 2009.
“It’s a not-too-subtle way for the CIO to say, ‘Hey, I’m no longer the insular geek you’ve come to know and love through the years-my team and I are about making money, not just tech,'” Colony wrote.
This shift in attitude also will focus CIOs on the same issues that are uppermost in the minds of CEOs. As Colony put it, “CEOs think incessantly about only two things: 1) higher revenue, and 2) increasing profits. That’s it. All of the rhetoric about productivity or efficiency or corporate responsibility can be directly linked to these two goals. So the next time you have to present to the CEO, remember to connect your tech project or your new product idea or your reorganization plan to revenue and profit increases. That’s when the CEO’s brain will light up and you’ll be speaking his or her simple language.”
To accomplish this goal, Microsoft’s Turner says that CIOs need to lead the charge in implementing business intelligence (BI) projects that promote top-line growth.
Currently, most companies remain mired in too much data that is used for too limited purposes. In a 2009 survey by Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services, two in five C-level executives indicated that their organizations were not deriving enough value from the information they collect. The survey showed that 30 percent of organizations used dedicated data analysis only within business units, 27 percent applied analytics to only specific functions and initiatives, 9 percent used analytics to isolate specific issues, and 10 percent did not conduct data analysis at all.