“What can I do to help you be most successful?”  This is a question any effective leader should be asking his team on a regular basis.  After all, strengthening and helping each team member to do his best will ultimately bring the most success to the team and the business as a whole.Profit

What do you think might be the response if the CIO asked the CMO, “What can I do to help you be most successful?”  Perhaps some of the CMO’s thoughts might be: 

  • Help us to better understand our customers.  We need to have a firm grasp on the information we already have about our customers, and we need to associate that information where possible with data from external sources to give us the most complete picture.  Help us to quickly add new sources of external data as we discover and obtain them. 
  • Provide a total picture of each customer to all employees involved with customer interaction.  Eliminate any information silos that currently segregate customers by product.  Update this ‘customer database’ in real-time with each customer interaction regardless of channel.

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Many IT professionals believe they have difficulty in saying “No” to others.  In fact, when an IT expert is asked he knows when and how to say “No’, the typical response seems to be a Decision cubesigh and a slow shaking of the head from side to side.  And this response isn’t limited to staff in a specific area or level of IT – it occurs from top to bottom throughout the department.

It’s interesting that I’ve even asked personnel from other areas of the business, and they agree that IT often doesn’t know when and how to say “No”.

Go ahead and ask the IT professionals at your company.  What response do they give?

So are IT folks like Ado Annie who “cain’t say no” when a ‘feller’ tries to kiss her in the play Oklahoma?  While she knows she should refuse, she somehow wants to kiss him back?

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Okay, fine.  So Gartner predicts that by the year 2017, the CMO’s technology spending will outpace that of the CIO.  What is the issue, really?Teamwork

The last time I checked, the CMO and the CIO work for the same company.  If a football team’s offense puts 70 points on the scoreboard, there may be a lot of excitement about their prolific offense.  However, if the team’s defense allowed 77 points, the game is still chalked up as a loss.  And if that happens too often, there are going to be some changes in the organization.

It works the same in a company.  If we have the best technology and most efficient processes in the world yet no money is coming in the door, we would all eventually lose our jobs when the company closes its doors.   And if we are selling so much that we cannot fulfill the orders or provide acceptable customer service, we know that the whole company will suffer. Read the rest of this entry »


Why is there such an emphasis on the need for IT transformation? 

Think about it.  If everything was poking along at a glacial pace and everyone was satisfied with the results they are achieving through IT, then there likely would not be such a hue and cry for IT to undergo radical changes.

But that is obviously not the case.  Social, mobile, cloud, and big data analytics are combining to create what some have called the perfect storm for disruptive innovation (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Mack Institute for Innovation Management).  

In his book, Here Comes Everybody (p. 160), author and NYU professor Clay Shirky wrote, “Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new technologies – it happens when society adopts new behaviors.”  Is there any doubt that social and mobile technologies are driving new societal behaviors?  And these new behaviors are having a huge effect on many elements of our businesses – marketing, sales, product development, customer service, and yes, even IT.

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“How many of you know of a company where people aren’t real happy with their IT department?”  This question was asked in a room of executives from various businesses.  The response was immediate laughter.  There seemed to be almost unanimous agreement with the one executive who exclaimed, “No one is happy with their IT shop!”Dumb PC

In a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of BMC, 86% of the global business users surveyed reporting losing an average of 18 hours/month due to IT issues (Exploring Business and IT Friction:  Myths and Realities – free registration required).  That’s over 5 weeks a year!  #WOW!  Think about the effect that would have on the company’s bottom line!


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