Gartner Says the Need Has Never Been Greater for Entrepreneurial CIOs
By 2012, Companies with the Top 25 Per Cent Earnings Growth Will Have an Entrepreneurial CIO
Gartner maintains that the distinctive feature of the entrepreneurial CIO is the proactive willingness and courage to take the highlevel risks also undertaken by the business, to provide new or breakaway competitive advantages that translate directly into revenue, financial results and market share. It is this willingness to apply the highest level of creativity available within the organisation to do things in a fundamentally different way that establishes new sources of shareholder value, while also setting new levels for IT productivity. It comes with the understanding that the business may fail in the attempt, but also that it will surely fail or, at best, attain mediocre performance, if it does not act.
"One of the biggest dilemmas facing organisations as we head towards 2010 is how CEOs and CIOs can execute entrepreneurial tasks in the current riskaverse environment," said Jorge Lopez, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "As shareholders see the recession recede in their daytoday actions, they will drive for revenue and earnings growth, and they will expect CEOs and CIOs to perform to heightened expectations."
Mr Lopez advised organisations to check that they have the right CIO for a return to growth. He said that the right combination of vision, risktaking and persuasiveness is needed to fill the requirements for the job.
Gartner believes that the entrepreneurial CIO is the person who, working jointly with an entrepreneurial CEO or business unit executive, marshals the resources under the command of the IT organisation, as well as creatively linking to resources outside of IT, to define and capture new and growing business opportunities. The primary focus of the entrepreneurial CIO is on newbusiness impact, and that impact is felt in three major ways by the business:
- Velocity of change - the ability to influence the velocity of change through the structure of the business, so that a change in strategy can be implemented at a rate that outperforms all other competitors, and, therefore, also draws revenue at an earlier time and at a rapid pace. Improvements in this area lead to gaining competitive advantage quickly in new markets with new offerings.
- Strategic leverage and extension - capabilities that extend strategy for the enterprise to new markets, new industries and new uses, and that lead to growth in revenue against entrenched and new competition.
- Operational efficiencies - efficiencies that improve operations to gain breakaway competitive advantage that further increase the rate of revenue and earnings growth. Gaining an improvement that is a factor of ten or more is key to establishing true competitive advantage in the area of operational efficiencies.
Gartner's own CEO research has established each year for the past six years that more than 60 per cent of CEOs see their IT organisations as a key constraint to the changes they need. It is the ability of the entrepreneurial CIO to deploy resources and architecture within the IT organisation that makes it a partner that is synchronised with the entrepreneurial objectives of the business.
"The entrepreneurial business and CEO need an entrepreneurial CIO to come up with and make the substantial changes required to capture new business and industry opportunities," Mr Lopez said. "The most valuable CIOs will be those who can provide this crucial value in a difficult economic environment."
Additional information is available in the Gartner report "The Business Impact of the Entrepreneurial CIO." The report is available on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/....
Gartner YouTube Channel
Additional comments from Mr Lopez are also available on the Gartner YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/.... Additional videos with Gartner analysts are available at http://www.youtube.com/....
Gartner UK Ltd
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technologyrelated insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in hightech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the indispensable partner to 60,000 clients in 10,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,000 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants in 80 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.