Companies Can't Have It All in One CIO

Ann All

After several years of seeking the perfect blend of business and technology in a single, CIO-shaped package, it's beginning to dawn on some companies that they may have to spread their expectations around.


In a recent interview with IT Business Edge, Philip Lay, the managing director of TCG Advisors, explained that the CIO has remained largely mired in operations while colleagues gripe that IT isn't doing enough for the business.


Splitting the CIO role into two positions -- chief information technology officer and chief process innovation officer -- is one way of solving the problem.


It frees the CITO to focus on the formidable job of keeping IT operations up and running as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. The CPIO, meanwhile, helps rethink business processes to create new value for the company.


And while the CPIO may well be a member of the executive team and the CITO will report to finance or operations, it doesn't mean that the CITO is less important than the CPIO, Lay says. Because technology will likely play a key role in much of the process reinvention envisioned by the CPIO, ideally the two roles will work closely together.


Clearly, strategic thinking is a key stumbling block to most BPM projects. A recent column at DMReview contends that many companies still have not mastered the art of translating data into meaningful metrics. And that's just the first step toward real business transformation.

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