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Issue of January 2007

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Adopt an enterprise perspective

IBM India has announced the results of India CIO study, part of their Global CEO Study that the company announced in September 2006. The study, a result of personal interactions with over fourty-four leaders based in India, is aimed at bridging the chasm between business and IT besides enhancing the innovative agility amongst CIOs in India.

The report highlighted an alarming number of CEO’s in India, nearly 86 percent of the ones interviewed, rating ‘business and technology integration’ to be of great importance and only 52 percent of the above feeling their organisations to be integrated enough.

The key findings of the India CIO Study highlighted that:

  • Deep business model innovation is critical to creating new and differing value for an organisation
  • Innovation can be ignited by business and technology integration. Technology must be linked to business and marketing insights in order to effectively enable and drive innovation.
  • External collaboration is indispensable and successful collaboration among employee and internal organisations is just one consideration. Partnering utside the organisation results in higher revenue growth and innovation solutions.

The study also stated the need for CIOs to become customer-centric and a credible business partner for CEOs by creating a flexible, responsive infrastructure that is better equipped to answer the needs of an innovative organisation. It further stressed that CIOs should be proactive in creating deep partnerships and forming alliances that extend beyond traditional boundaries. They need to help create a culture and climate that encourage innovation and reward innovative thinking and the results achieved.

According to the IBM India CIO study, CIOs in India need to be a business executive first and a technologist second. They need to close the gap between business and IT by building the hybrid skill sets that enable IT professionals to understand the needs of the business. And they need to promote and become part of a new governance model where responsibility for business and IT is shared by business and IT leaders.

The study confirmed that the role of a CIO in India today is of a critical decision-maker when it comes to using technology to address the innovation challenges and opportunities for the business. It reinforces the role of the CIO – that they can enable and increase the innovative agility of the organisation and drive the business forward.

Early this year, IBM announced their global CEO study 2006. It was the result of a comprehensive survey covering 765 CEOs, business executives and public sector leaders on the subject of innovation, out of which 44 were Indian leaders from various verticals of business from private and public sectors.

Highlights of 2006 CEO Study
  • 65 percent of the world's top corporate CEOs (including 44 leaders from India) declared that due to pressures from competitive and market forces, they plan to radically change their companies in the next two years.
  • More than 80 percent of CEOs stated that their organisations have not been very successful at managing change in the past.
  • 76 percent of all CEOs ranked business partnerships and collaboration as top sources for new ideas - but only half of the CEOs surveyed believed their organisations were collaborating beyond a moderate level.
  • Only 14 percent of CEOs ranked internal R&D as a source for new ideas.
  • Some of the most significant sources of innovative ideas according to CEOs came from employees (41 percent), business partners (38 percent) and customers, (36 percent). This means two of the three most significant sources of innovative ideas now lie outside of the organisation.
  • Approximately one-third of (CEOs) innovation resources are now targeted at business model innovation, innovation in the structure and or financial model of the business.
  • 76 percent of CEOs say that collaboration with outside sources is critical, while only 51 percent informed their organisations currently collaborate extensively.
  • In emerging markets like India, 73 percent of CEOs are collaborating, compared to only 47 percent in mature markets.
  • Nearly 80 percent of the CEOs interviewed rated business and technology integration of great importance. But, as was the case with collaboration, CEOs have a major ‘‘integration gap’’ - only half are executing at that level.
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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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