In 2014 at the World Business Forum in Sydney, Michael Porter said;
“IT has moved into the product. This is changing what the product actually is. It challenges the value chain and your customers.”
This sweeping change that technology brings has resulted in many opportunities and, quite possibly, many more threats and challenges.
Some of the opportunities include:
- Digital strategies to lower the barriers to market or disrupt traditional channels;
- Intelligent systems that provide instant customer information to enhance or compliment the customer experience or journey;
- A connected world that enables seamlessly transfer of information; and
- Better informed customers than ever before
On the flip side, the threats and challenges are imposing:
- Dependence on things we can’t control;
- A “here and now” mentality; and
- Customers that may know more about your product than you do and expect to use their channel of choice at their convenience.
This has led to a demand in a new type of leader; one who understands the commercial landscape AND is tech-savvy. The typical experience and qualities of these new leaders include:
- Strong commercial background with a business-based tertiary education (MBA, etc);
- Cyber-smart with a keen eye on emerging risks and weak-links;
- Proven project expertise that includes several successful “rescue” roles;
- Deep understanding of the technical aspects of IT (Data, Infrastructure, Software Development, etc.); and
- Exceptional inter-personal, communication and presentation skills.
Many companies neither have the structures nor finances to hire someone with the above credentials, however many are turning to part-time CIOs to fill this void. A part-time CIO has the following advantages:
- C-Level expertise, when needed;
- Increased competency and reduced business risk;
- Emerging trends and risks;
- Significantly reduced cost (when compared to full-time);
- Supplement or compliment your existing expertise and skills-base; and
- Coaching and mentoring possibilities.