Nita Teoh, Big4.com
July 14, 2010
Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are continually faced with the increasing pressure of delivering greater value from IT services for their companies on a daily basis. Much like Moore’s law, demands on performance keeps increasing while costs continually drop.
Managing costs and other hot topics facing CIOs around the world were major topics of discussion at the recent 2010 World Congress on IT hosted in Amsterdam in May 2010.
Big Four firms were well represented at the Conference by the likes of Capgemini and KPMG.
Capgemini’s Ron Tolido, Chief Technology Officer gave a keynote presentation on “The power of technology to change business and public life”.
His presentation focused around the need for many governments to reshape the way they do business in the future.
The implications for business are that mere cost cutting will not be enough in the face of the GFC and other disruptive events that may occur in the future.
Government can continue to engage in outsourcing, but public private partnerships in the future will have to meet higher expectation of delivery and the higher expectations of citizens.
As Tolido articulated in his own blog:
“… what we need to focus on is not eGovernment, but eCitizens. It’s not about delivering the IT processes of government today over the Web with citizen access, but rethinking how a citizen will want to run their relationship with their elected government.”
Another way of putting this is ‘user driven services’ which makes it recognisable as the old cry for alignment between business and IT.
KPMG IT Advisory Partners Kumar Parakala (Europe, Middle East, Africa and India) and Bryan Cruickshank (Europe) also presented at the World Congress on their ”From Cost to Value – 2010 Global Survey on the CIO Agenda”
The survey assisted CIOs in setting their priorities for the future and was based on a questionnaire distributed to 4,500 CIOs across all continents, of which feedback was received from 10% of respondents.
As Cruickshank commented:
“Whenever you hear of organisations wanting to focus on value, it’s tempting to immediately think of cost cutting. However, our survey suggests a dual focus amongst today’s CIOs. Understandably, they are pursuing value by reviewing outsourcing arrangements and retaining a firm focus on cost optimisation for example.
At the same time though, they are demonstrating their willingness to move the CIO role from its typically operational home into something more transformational.
With that in mind, the days when IT was seen merely as a way of improving efficiency seem behind us. These days, CIOs expect IT to contribute directly to realising the business strategy and to have a central role in management.”
It appears that Big Four senior executives are in sync with what the marketplace and internal customers are demanding today – that a business strategy of cost cutting alone is not enough to survive in today’s tough corporate environment – but a strategic focus on value creation for the total enterprise is the ultimate goal of the CIO.
CIO, 2010 World Congress on IT, Ron Tolido, Bryan Cruickshank, KPMG, Capgemini