Who will disrupt the disrupters?

5 insights for executives.

When CIOs take control of the digital agenda, they can help their companies innovate and gain market share. We explore how. Learn to manage digital disruption before it disrupts you.

Ted G., CIO of a $10 billion company, just got off the phone with the European business unit VP, who told Ted he was about to launch a new mobile app.

“Here we go again,” Ted thought, again having to confront new plans that he hadn’t been told about. If he wasn’t dealing with the 90-day deadlines for delivering digital solutions or pilots, he found himself facing business unit leaders who’d grown impatient for results and, like the VP, used external vendors to develop them.

Ted had to admit that he and his organization simply could not keep up with the demand, nor could they continue on the current course. Instead of solving a problem, the current patchwork of technology was creating more problems, including cybersecurity risk, escalating IT costs and increasing technology debt.

He knew he had to turn things around fast. It was crucial for Ted to find a balance between managing risks and costs and innovating in order to sustain growth and meet demands.

CIOs are facing a new set of challenges in this digital era. To stay relevant, they must keep up with the digital needs of the business and their rapidly changing technology ecosystems. They must also address the growth of “shadow IT” (i.e., technology investments made without IT’s involvement or knowledge) and its business risks, while dealing with increasing technology complexity and cost. CIOs who don’t offer relevant digital business solutions face losing people and budget, as well as influence and credibility, ultimately relegating them to mere guardians of basic infrastructure.

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