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Forrester to CIOs: Attend more marketing than technology conferences

Forrester to CIOs: Attend more marketing than technology conferences

​'The successful CIO for 2016 is digitally savvy, customer-obsessed'

Forrester to CIOs: 'Get out and meet more customers in 2016.'
Forrester to CIOs: 'Get out and meet more customers in 2016.'

Here's what CEOs will expect of CIOs in the next 12 months: To grow out of being mere technology custodians, to leaders in using technology to drive revenue instead.

This shift will make the job of the CIO harder, says Forrester, which lists some steps CIOs can take to prepare for this expectation.

In the research paper Predictions 2016: The New Breed of CIO, Forrester analysts Nigel Fenwick and Pascal Matzke point out that culture change and "learning the 'nuts and bolts of customer experience (CX)" are key to the CIO’s success.

Marketing used to be the “nucleus of digital experience”, but in 2016, digital experience will require the involvement of other departments like human resources and product development, say the analysts.

CIOs will endeavour to become digital natives, they state. “Effective CIOs will spread outside-in thinking, Agile delivery, and a sense-and-respond culture to deliver digital success. They’ll also tear down their internal tech silos to shift the focus toward customers and spread CX proficiency."

Get every employee on the team out to meet customers or listen in to call-centre conversations.


Rising customer expectations will drive companies to reduce the cycle time of their products and services.

Read more: The CIO for a digital era: A collaborative bi-modal approach

For CIOs, this means making Agile the norm and waterfall the exception.

CIOs will do this in software engineering and also move from project management to portfolio management around modular solution assets that can be composed and decomposed as needed, say the analysts.

CIOs, meanwhile, can help incubate innovation through a digital accelerator in conjunction with marketing. They can also develop sense-and-respond culture and processes to quickly identify new opportunities to fix CX problems and to create value, says Forrester.

Attend more marketing than technology conferences, says Forrester. “Get out and meet more customers in 2016.”

Read more: Doing business with Sharon Davies of Talent Propeller: 'The market desperately needs more innovators'

As well, CIOs also need to give their staff the opportunity to learn new skills and be more involved with innovative approaches to digital businesses. The staff can step up through training or working inside business units and marketing.

ICT staff should get to know the customer base: "Get every employee on the team out to meet customers or listen in to call-centre conversations.”

Read more: Movers and shakers: Air New Zealand appoints Intuit exec as chief digital officer


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Read more: Carmen Casagranda of Cigna: The CIO as chief digital transformation officer

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