The newest C-suite member may not be an employee of your company

Divina Paredes

Currently, 34 per cent of NZ executives believe they collaborate strongly with business partners and suppliers, compared to 47 per cent internationally. When asked about employee collaboration, just 32 per cent of New Zealand executives rated this as strong, compared to 50 per cent elsewhere globally.

The digitally activated customer
The report highlights how the business landscape has changed much since 2004, as digitisation has given customers far more clout and transformed their expectations.

"For the CIO, it is all about how they need to involve the customers," says Lee in an interview with CIO New Zealand.

A lot of the interactions with customers will be digitally based, which are across three systems.

The first category is the "systems of record", or those needed to run the business.

The second are the "systems of engagement", which is how the organisation interacts with customers, suppliers and the market in general.

The third, says Lee, are the "systems of discovery". This takes the information from the systems of record and systems of engagement and what is happening out there in the market, and analyses the data to make it "valuable for the business and the decisions they make".

"There is a required interaction among all of the C-suite to make this stuff happen," he says.

"You can't do this stuff in isolation; it is a collaborative effort of the C-suite. When you are forming strategies and making decisions and executing those decisions, if you have walls (among the executive functions), it will not be as effective.

"This is why the CIO needs to be involved in these particular engagements. Otherwise, the organisation will not be able to have an end to end [system] where the customer can come in or the business can go out to the customer.

"People will know they can't go off and do it without the CIO, they will get the CIO involved because it needs to be seamless across the organisation, for themselves, for the clients and for their partners."

"What is happening more and more is the recognition of the role that the CIO needs to play, and where it needs to be at the table — with the rest of the leadership team."

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