“Improvers” focus on the traditional IT virtues of controlling costs, increasing efficiency, and optimising processes. “Transformers” instead focus on using technology to fulfill a company’s strategic vision. They understand which new tools and applications will solve issues or improve processes that the business may not yet acknowledge as needing attention.
“It’s clear from the survey that there’s pressure on manufacturing CIOs to make the journey from simply being Improvers to becoming Transformers,” said Martin Hill, vice president marketing for Epicor in EMEA. “With the challenges faced by the manufacturing industry and their dependence on increasingly sophisticated systems and technologies, CIOs now have greater influence over how quickly a company can expand into a new market or how quickly a business model can change. All C-level executives, including the CIO, need to focus on business transformation rather than just improvement and efficiency. Unfortunately, this is not what’s happening in many cases. Inflexible systems, restricted budgets and outdated technology are holding back CIOs from assisting in transformation. The majority are spending too much time, money and energy just keeping the lights burning – supporting and maintaining what they have to focus on a more strategic role.”
Key statistics of the study include:
• 100% of CIOs considered that within their organisations, the demand for speed, re-invention, agility and innovation has increased over the last five years. 100% of non-CIOs agreed.
• Among the top-level business drivers shaping CIOs’ present focus, the CIO’s role was seen as central to the drive to expand into new markets by eight out of ten CIOs (83%) and two-thirds (67%) of non-CIOs. Managing changes in the business’s business model was also seen as central to CIOs’ present role, with two-thirds of CIOs (67%) and over half the non-CIOs (56%) expressing this view.
• While the majority of CIOs saw their role as that of an “influencer”—a position part-way on the spectrum from “Improver” to “Transformer”; the view from non-CIOs was more polarised, with 30% seeing their CIO colleagues as “Improver” and “Transformer”, respectively, and less than a quarter (22%) opting for the middle ground of “Influencer”.
• No less than two-thirds (67%) of non-CIOs describe their CIO has having evolved from “Improver” to “Influencer”. CIOs themselves affirm the same progressively transformative trend.
• When quizzed on which new technologies they saw as being primary investments to enable their business further in the future, CIOs said mobile. Non-CIOs were split, 66% citing mobile and 33% SaaS.
• 50% of CIOs and 44% of non-CIOs agreed that ERP had reduced the complexity of key operational processes, as well as enhancing speed. 56% and 33%, respectively, said that ERP had helped to reduce operational costs.