But before you do that you have to put in place some of the basics the business needs good financial management, good database management, lead management, identifying your target successor.Having been a CIO has been very helpful in his role as operations chief.
The CIO background definitely helps me to bring different concepts that make up the omni-channel together, and package them up and present them to the business in a more sensible way.The more important thing is we are simplifying the business, he says. We are changing the processes to deliver better customer services and more efficiency in the business which translates to better sales and profitability.
You find many CIOs nowadays with responsibilities that are well beyond technology, says Ben Robinson, CIO of Paymark.In his case, it involves working on projects with external organisations, like the Trusted Service Manager (TSM) Paymark is building with the telcos Vodafone, 2degrees and Telecom NZ.TSM will allow customers to make secure payments using their mobile phones.
The infrastructure makes use of an application with NFC (near field communications) capacity built in. Rather than having to deal with each bank and telco individually, they will just have to deal with one organisation, he explains. It will be a separate venture with a separate managing director, with both Paymark and the telcos having a shareholding, says Robinson. He compares the joint venture to the collaboration among banks to form ETSL (former name of Paymark) which runs the largest Efpos network in New Zealand.
We have got the opportunity again and the technology wont hold us back, he says.Robinsons involvement in other non-technology projects has also given him insights with regards to succession, or appointing an acting CIO.You can only do this once you have put a lot of effort into building your team, he says. If you have a team that doesnt work well together, it is hard to put one of them in charge.
When I became CIO, I took a look at my management team and who could replace me. And at who could replace those managers, and the next layers down again. We made a conscious effort to develop people and it has worked well.Elsewhere outside the enterprise space, the theme of working across agencies resonates. We are seeing unprecedented WoX (whole-of-x) initiatives, observes Peter McDowall, CIO of St John.McDowall cites the electronic patient report form (ePRF) project for the whole of ambulance sector which sees the latter working with health agencies to make sure health information is connected.
Three years ago each agency was planning their own solutions, but today, agencies involved in fire service, ambulance, police and civil defence are now developing a common view of directions and priorities related to telecommunications and related technologies.I imagine it is a combination of the financial climate, political direction and the right organisational leadership which is creating the environment for unprecedented collaboration, says McDowallObviously there would be competitive reasons why commercial organisations might not collaborate, but for commodity services, I dont see why not, he says. Amazon becoming an infrastructure as a service provider to their traditional competitors is probably one of the better examples of this happening.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.