Gerri Martin Flickinger, CIO & SVP, Adobe Systems
The recent appearance of key trends has created a new set of challenges for all CIOs. Among the trends, Service Orientation is back as a critical challenge. Over the years, service orientation has gone beyond merely implementing fast-paced products to incorporating innovative ways of bringing in technical architecture into an organization. The other trend gaining thrust is Information Management, which is about aligning an organizational strategy with respect to the current requirements of data management. As a CIO, I am following the developments in connection with the customer experience aspect as well.
The Innovation Requirements
As several changes continue to influence the industry, innovation turns the proven way of meeting customer’s requirements. Recognizing the potential as well as necessity of innovation, even small ventures are following the latest innovative approaches. In these circumstances, many challenges arise in terms of integration; it could be integration of data, applications and similar concepts. Also, people are beginning to identify the real problems. These developments have made the industry to focus on how innovations would come to lime light in the market. I am of the opinion that despite the urgency, the next 18 months would be without any innovative strategies, in certain sectors, a situation requiring rectification at the earliest.
Contrary to the 80’s, the technological changes have been more evident. Moreover, these technological changes are making their impacts felt even in non-technical companies, wherein the technical expertise is more or less restricted to knowledge on computers, applications and such basic aspects. Coming to the role of CIOs, as opposed to a decade ago or so, it has evolved. As an example, it is important how a CIO uses applications and incorporates IT into an organization.
Also, the concept of ‘IT as a function’ has altered from an organizational point of view. Moreover, the current business leaders have to spend time in understanding the business as well as the process involved in technology. In my role, about 60 percent of my time is being spent on business conversations.
Furthermore, it is a regular challenge to manage other enterprises forming our supply chain. I have to make sure that a trust-based relationship is established between us.