How IT leaders are driving new income

Development-focused actions

Based on’s State of the CIO Survey, 68% of CIOs say creating new revenue-generating initiatives is now a part of their job. To that finish, the survey recognized the highest 10 actions CIOs are enterprise to assist drive extra income to their enterprise as:

  1. Automating enterprise and/or IT processes (47%)
  2. Creating new merchandise/companies (40%)
  3. Making our knowledge extra accessible (34%)
  4. Growing/enhancing the shopper journey (31%)
  5. Reporting on the worth that IT supplies (30%)
  6. Interacting instantly with prospects (29%)
  7. Creating groups targeted on innovation (26%)
  8. Creating enterprise case eventualities with outlined prices and advantages (23%)
  9. Implementing a product-based method (21%)
  10. Weekly/month-to-month conferences with government management (21%)

Of notice, too, is No. 12: Cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset, with 18% itemizing that as considered one of their priorities.

CIOs in recent times have created the bandwidth they should deal with income and progress, by offloading utility and infrastructure administration to software-as-a-service and cloud distributors, says Shankar Narayaran, president and world head of retail, CPG, journey, and hospitality at Tata Consultancy Companies.

On the identical time, he says CIOs who moved to the cloud and deployed capabilities akin to low-code platforms, which allow enterprise unit employees to create software program options, created the expertise basis obligatory for CIOs to deploy the extra superior tech instruments and area of interest capabilities that instantly help revenue-generating processes.

CIOs who’re driving new income are:

Delivering applied sciences designed to satisfy particular enterprise outcomes. For instance, Narayaran has seen CIOs focus their groups on creating functions designed not merely on excessive availability and reliability however on hitting very particular enterprise objectives — akin to enabling on-time deliveries to its prospects.

Unlocking knowledge’s potential. Narayaran says he has additionally seen CIOs make large performs with their knowledge packages, investing within the expertise infrastructure wanted to deliver collectively and analyze knowledge units to create new companies or merchandise and drive enterprise targets akin to improved buyer retention and buyer stickiness.

Co-creating with their enterprise unit colleagues. Notably, Narayaran says CIOs are approaching their enterprise unit colleagues with such proposals. “CIOs [are saying], ‘Right here’s a possibility. We have now this knowledge, and we are able to make this knowledge do that for you,’ and so they then deliver that to life. And if they are saying, ‘That is what we’ve got and that is what we are able to do,’ then the enterprise, too, can give you new concepts.”

Embedding themselves within the enterprise. Herlihy attracts on the precept of “genchi genbutsu,” or “go and see for your self” in Japanese. In different phrases, stroll in your individual buyer’s footwear. Herlihy labored in a Subway store earlier than taking his seat within the CIO workplace, and he asks his workforce to realize such expertise, too. He leaned into the precept in 2022, when he traveled to the UK and a number of other European nations to discover whether or not deploying self-order kiosks would work in that market; the journey and a subsequent profitable pilot demonstrated that enabling such high-tech kiosks would certainly assist with gross sales. (He shares: “Friends will upsell themselves once they’re in entrance of a well-presented show of our merchandise.”)

Hunt down alternatives. “IT ought to all the time be seen as greater than ‘order-takers’ as a result of we’re a vital a part of the income technology lifecycle,” says creator and world expertise chief Rhonda Vetere, who beforehand labored as each a CIO and a chief data and expertise officer. Vetere says CIOs ought to establish alternatives the place they will work with different purposeful leaders on revenue-focused initiatives. She cites as examples her work on redesigning a client model web site to include a loyalty program and clicks-to-purchase — strikes that drove gross sales, and thus, income progress — in addition to bringing design considering to make on-line banking extra environment friendly for the banks’ prospects. She provides: “All the time return to the corporate technique and objectives — the highest enterprise priorities ought to correlate with the actions of IT and areas of focus.”

Ted Schadler, a vp and principal analyst with Forrester, whose work has targeted on tech’s new function in progress, says “empowered CIOs” allow progress by flawlessly scaling and securing buyer options, create progress by collaboratively constructing merchandise that open new markets, and amplify progress by elevating insights, automation, and algorithms to optimize every little thing.

State of the CIO 2023: Driving revenue through process automation

Foundry /

Extra work to do

How a lot of a CIO’s time is spent on growth-focused actions varies by business and by firm, Schadler says.

However CIOs are nicely positioned to collaborate on progress initiatives as a result of, not like most different enterprise roles, they see throughout the enterprise and “can see patterns that lie outdoors of any single product,” Schadler says. He recounts how the CIO at a medical machine firm labored throughout 4 enterprise models constructing an IoT platform to energy the assorted merchandise all 4 have been in search of, work the CIO was in a position to unify due to the visibility he had.

Schadler says not all CIOs are empowered to try this work.

“They’ve been advised they will’t, so that they don’t,” he says, including that he believes CIOs have the talents, information, and practices — akin to agile growth — to efficiently transfer into progress actions.

“However we hear tales that when they do, the engine simply cranks up,” he provides.

In actual fact, Schadler says a rising variety of CIOs are certainly venturing into such work; nonetheless, they continue to be a part of a small share whose function is tied in with income. When Forrester requested CEOs, CTOs, and CIOs whether or not they have been personally aware of income progress as a enterprise goal, solely 18% of CIOs agreed (in comparison with 28% of CTOs and 35% of CEOs).

Tanowitz says he, too, sees some CIOs battle to tackle extra revenue-generating actions. But, like Schadler, he additionally sees extra CIOs rising into that work.

The CIOs who’re shifting into that area are growing a product-centric mindset and IT tradition. They’re embracing agile and DevSecOps to allow their firms to rapidly deal with market wants, “which does drive income,” Tanowitz says. And so they’re constructing sturdy knowledge, analytics, and intelligence packages to help the creation of latest services.

“I feel it’s on the CIO to put out a imaginative and prescient and have interaction the group on the worth the CIO can deliver,” Tanowitz provides.

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