The CIO's Second Agenda

In addition to managing the IT agendas of their companies, CIOs must build a second agenda of Business Technology (systems, technology, and processes to win, serve, and retain customers). The IT agenda focuses internally on supply chains, financial systems, and administrative technology. These are all critical -- most corporations would stop in minutes without IT. But as empowered and digital customers demand more, BT will emerge to concentrate on technologies -- CRM, systems of engagement, customer apps, customer insight, digital customer service as examples -- that will enhance customer experience.

Forrester does not believe that a Chief Digital Officer will arrive on a white horse to run BT, and we also do not agree with the trendy assertion that marketing is going to be in charge of all customer technology. Because of the close synergy between the IT and BT agendas, we believe that the CIO and his or her staff must adroitly manage both. And as unnatural as it might seem in many organizations, the CIO must execute on the BT agenda in concert with the CMO and business unit leaders. A go-it-alone approach will create havoc and unhappy customers.

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The Forrester Summer Reading List

Last week I had the Forrester Board of Clients in town. As part of our great dinner discussion, I asked each client to name their favorite book of the moment. Here's their recommended list:

Who Owns the Future  Jaron Lanier's diatribe against Google, Facebook and other "siren servers."
Path to Power  Maggie Thatcher's rise to Prime Minister.
Drive  Daniel Pink's tome is an often-noted favorite of Forrester clients. I think it's time for me to read this one...
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