The role of a CIO in a digital world
In this new world of convergence, IT function can play a much bigger role than what the traditional IT function has typically played
Last year, research firm Gartner, predicted that by 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. Gartner’s assumption was made by the fact that as more and more consumers adopt new digital channels, the role of marketing in influencing IT spend will only accelerate.
In this new world, which is heavily influenced by what Gartner, calls the nexus of forces (the convergence of social, cloud, mobile and information), marketers have a huge opportunity to unlock hidden insights by engaging with customers using customized and contextually relevant conversations and offers. Today, enterprises do not look at social media as just a medium for educating customers about their products or solutions. Most smart organizations are now using social media to not only address customer concerns quickly, but to also co- create products with their customers.
One of India’s most socially savvy organizations, Café Coffee Day, uses social media to ask its customers what they would like to be served or the exact flavor of chocolate that they prefer. It uses these insights drawn from its huge base of customers on social media to co- create products.
Understanding the huge reach of social media platforms, ICICI Bank, one of India’s largest private sector banks, allows customers to access their bank accounts through Facebook. The bank has also set up fully electronic branches that enable customers to undertake real- time transactions.
Similarly, IndiaFirst Life Insurance is equipping its agents with tablets, enabling them to issue policies to customers within minutes. For discerning analysts who question the ROI of social media, the example of Shoppers Stop generating incremental sales directly attributable to social media is a real eye opener.
As these examples show, the IT function can play a much bigger role than what the traditional IT function has typically played. This is an exciting time for CIOs as there are far more opportunities than challenges. With their immense understanding of technologies, CIOs can act as a bridge between IT and business, and show how technology can be used to amplify business opportunities for their respective firms.