Being a CIO focused on customer experience

Byron Connolly

That's been relatively hard to do -- this is ERP for IT," he says. "We are making a huge investment in [VRealize] internally so that we are the showcase in terms of how this could work."

Getting involved in business strategy
In the new world of IT, there's a blurring of lines between business and IT. Scott prefers to think of this trend as a mesh or integration of core bits of IT capability with the business and its strategy.

"I think the mistake people and companies can make is to think of business and technology as one and the same -- as though we are a blend. The roles are still fairly distinct in that there are some technology pieces that just have to work in a way that a lot of folks in business probably aren't going to invest the time into understanding how that really works," he says.

"For example, when you get down to core performance and transaction throughput, you get into really understanding how the underlying systems link together.

"There can be a bunch of technical detail in there that is supportive of the business strategy but probably not an area of interest for a lot of business people beyond 'does it work and does it do what I expect it to do?'

Still, as new technology becomes available, it opens up potential business opportunities.

"And it really takes somebody who has a strong knowledge of business to validate and "flesh out" the go to market, who the customer is going to be, and how you are going to brand [a product or service] which a lot of technologists don't have the background for."

"They may be willing to be a participant and a partner but may not have all of the skills. This is where working together in one motion as a part of one fabric is pretty exciting," he says.

So are CIOs succeeding or failing on this front? Scott says it depends on the industry, adding that there are plenty of sectors where there's pressure to just take cost out of the business - make the "trains run on time."

"These businesses aren't investing in a lot of strategic [projects]. But there's a realisation that there are new market, new opportunities, and new business models that -- if you get the right combination of business and technology playing together -- you can do some pretty dramatic things."

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