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The enterprise IT environment is becoming increasingly fragmented; so how can the CIO gain control?

In the past IT departments had sole control over technology procurement in the enterprise. Today the landscape has changed as technology has permeated every part of an organisation.

The CIO of a global multi-national corporation (MNC) can no longer keep track of every cloud service purchased by marketing or every application procured by HR. This puts them in a vulnerable position, unable to manage the flow of data running over the network – and lacking a holistic view of the IT estate to mitigate risks and deliver business value.

While it might be tempting to tighten controls over IT processes and procurement, this could actually be counter-intuitive to workforce productivity; employees are just looking for digital tools to help them work collaboratively, flexibly and effectively.

What the CIO really needs is a centralised view of communications suppliers serving the business and complete visibility of the network – which can be achieved by total supplier and network consolidation incorporating wired, wireless and cloud services.

When communications are consolidated the CIO has the chance to elevate their head above the day-to-day tasks of managing systems and infrastructure. They have the headspace to think more strategically, and access to expert advice on the digital technologies that could really make a difference to the business.

Technologies such as mobile analytics and machine-to-machine (M2M) that are already driving transformation through business processes, products, services and business models – generating excitement all the way from the boardroom to the customer.

Build a digital business

By adopting a Total Communications strategy of consolidating suppliers and unifying communications, businesses can lay the best foundations to build a digital business.

In an evolving technological landscape, this means having the control and agile infrastructure to drive efficiencies, the best tools for staff to do their jobs, and the digital technologies to drive growth, innovation and business value in the future.

3 steps to building digital success

Businesses need to assess whether they have the culture, systems, processes and skillsets to stay competitive in the digital age. Interrogate existing processes and working practices based on outdated views and encourage a ‘digital-first’ mind set to ensure employees are always looking for ways to exploit digital technologies

Put systems and processes in place to analyse the ways in which digital technologies and new market entrants could impact the market. Use technologies such as real-time business intelligence and predictive analysis to keep one step ahead of potentially disruptive trends and maintain visibility of competition outside of home markets to spot new business models emerging. Ensure senior executives have continued visibility of insights and learnings to prevent vital information from remaining hidden within the business

Windows of opportunity to capitalise on new products, services and business models can be short-lived as competitors all have access to the same information and technologies – take inspiration from startups and adopt an ‘experiment and adapt’ and ‘fail fast’ approach. Look for opportunities to work more collaboratively with suppliers and partners to improve innovation and speed to market

  1. Put the right processes in place
  2. Identify and exploit opportunities
  3. Focus on accelerating innovation