The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: August 2008

Staying on course: the guide to identifying, managing and reducing complexity

1 August 2008

Gary Lawrence, country manager of CA, looks at the need for a new breed of technology professional. Or put another way, at how CIOs need to evolve.
Gary Lawrence, country manager of CA
Gary Lawrence, country manager of CA
In an ideal world, IT organisations would be able to provide their customers with an array of complex services that are tailored to their needs – quickly, and cost-effectively.
In reality, however, IT professionals do not have a clear picture of their IT environments and often complain that they have to keep implementing new technologies. Other complaints include a lack of clearly defined processes to manage IT services and difficulty in assessing the efficiency and benefits of IT.
Identifying, managing and reducing complexity
Complexity has become our biggest enemy. The fact that IT today, in many respects, is the business, is keeping many of us up at night. Managing and governing this complex entity is difficult at best. Unfortunately, complexity cannot be conjured away, but there are ways to reduce it and bring together the management of your organisation’s IT environment.
Staying on course: The guide to identifying, managing and reducing complexity is a monthly series in which CA executives will provide insights and practical advice on the subject of IT management. Over the next few months, we will cover topics ranging from boosting the bottom line to improving service delivery – ultimately showing you how to identify, manage and reduce complexity within your organisation.
The new breed of CIO
Three quarters of chief information officers (CIOs) and other IT leaders are helping their companies develop new products and services. More than 80% are deeply involved with strategic decisions. Nearly 60% agree that the CIO job requires more vertical industry knowledge than ever before. These are just some of the findings of a study commissioned by CA, to discover and identify what we refer to as the ‘new breed of CIO’.
As a community of professionals we have moved away from speaking in ‘bits and bytes’ to barrels and bullion. It is a fact that today’s technology professionals are under pressure to become increasingly savvy on all business fronts. It is also a fact that never before have enterprises relied so heavily on IT leaders to achieve competitive distinction.
Although technology professionals have always supported business processes, companies have never relied so heavily on them to improve the customer experience. The current economic climate is tough, to say the least, and customer retention during this time is critical. As a result, CIOs are focusing their attention on enhanced services designed to improve customer interaction.
Customer centric technology
Technology has increasing responsibility – along with the sales and marketing functions – to ensure that customer interactions are meaningful and effective. So CIOs are using technology such as content and knowledge management to help their organisations transform the way they interact with customers, which enables them to utilise the large amounts of data in a way that is meaningful in their interaction with customers.
The most successful companies have always been customer-focused. Historically, this has been done through functions such as sales, marketing and customer relations. However, with technology evolving to the point where it profoundly affects nearly every aspect of the business, the technology professional has been thrust to the forefront of improving customer interactions.
Our opinion
All eyes are on the new breed of technology professional. Succeeding in this tough environment requires an in-depth understanding of the business ecosystem and how the management of complexity can assist IT professionals to contribute to the business in real, measurable terms.
Next month, we will look at the management of risk in an increasingly uncertain world.

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