What’s New And Differentiating For CIOs In The Age Of The Customer?

If you really want to get this question answered, you’d better join Forrester's CIO Forum 2012 in Las Vegas, on May 3-4, 2012. But for now, let me share with you what I intend to present at the Forum.

Here’s the elevator pitch: The job of the CIO is going to change from something like “show me the business process, and I will help you automate it” to “here is what we need to do to streamline our business capabilities and increase the firm’s level of engagement with customers and partners.” In other words, the CIO’s focus is moving from aligning IT and the business to aligning business capabilities and better serving customers.

To set the stage for my presentation, I will bring two key trends into one picture: The first trend comes from Josh’s Bernoff’s research. He has shown how successful companies changed their source of differentiation over time from manufacturing-centric positioning to being “customer-obsessed” in the age of the customer. The second trend comes from Andrew Bartels’ research. Andy argues that the history of IT has seen three waves of innovation — mainframe computing, personal computing, and network computing — while the fourth wave, smart computing, is now under way.

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