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Customer engagement the top driver of competitive advantage

Arlene Wherrett | June 23, 2015
The primary mission of the CIO is no longer to drive competitive advantage by balancing a cadence of enterprise-wide deployments with the ongoing maintenance of legacy infrastructure.

The primary mission of the CIO is no longer to drive competitive advantage by balancing a cadence of enterprise-wide deployments with the ongoing maintenance of legacy infrastructure. The best CIOs will embrace public cloud technology, free themselves from infrastructure maintenance, and instead focus on ways to increase employee and customer engagement that drive business results.

The competitive advantage of having a large capital expenditure budget is rapidly decreasing. It's no longer a barrier to market entry and maintenance of critical but large capital IT expenditures is becoming a disadvantage. In the current business environment, cloud technology enables any company to rapidly launch, innovate, and scale IT consumption based on demand.

Cloud, social, and mobile platforms have also empowered employees and customers like never before. Employees can now implement public cloud solutions that solve their specific challenges. The Bluewolf State of Salesforce report showed us that 70 percent of companies are diverting budget from on premise infrastructure to fund cloud-based solutions.

But the availability, ease of implementation, and low cost has made it possible for employees to implement without IT's knowledge -- and just as customers are going multiple-channel, employees are going multi-cloud.

Multi anything leads to more information, IT and specifically a CIO' s best opportunity is to radically improve a company's access to and flow of that information.

Enabling insights across the organisation and empowering employees with the customer information they need to engage customers, is the best path to delivering impactful and sustainable business results.

There is no one better positioned in the enterprise to improve a company's access to and flow of information than the CIO. Besides having a complete view across the enterprise's applications and information sources, CIOs are the individuals most likely to have the resources to deploy platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions and the experience to lead cloud governance.

PaaS and cloud governance are two tools that will help CIOs quickly impact the access to and flow of information.

Embrace an end-to-end PaaS solution

While PaaS is being readily adopted by enterprises for cloud application testing and deployment, the opportunity for companies already invested in cloud applications is extensions.

Rebuilding on-premises applications in the cloud does not always make sense, especially not every application all at once. Instead, extend the functionality of cloud investments until it no longer makes sense to maintain those on-premises applications.

In the same way cloud technologies have revolutionised the effectiveness of IT infrastructures, cloud governance is revolutionising the effectiveness of IT's alignment with the business.

Traditional IT governance frameworks are too cumbersome to support the rapid pace of innovation driven by cloud-based technologies. The emergence of cloud governance addresses this challenge.

 

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