22 Top Truly Social CIOs on Twitter November 23, 2015 No Comments

It’s Thanksgiving week again, that time of year when we gather with family and friends to celebrate our gratitude for what matters most.

We’re thankful as always for our customers, partners, co-workers, and our social media relationships. But as our Twitter following has more than doubled in the past year, we’re especially thankful this year for a particularly enlightening and engaging group: the truly social CIOs on Twitter.

Here’s our list of the top 22, not ranked but arranged alphabetically by last name. For anyone interested in enterprise technology and leadership trends, this is a fantastic group to follow.

Kevin Behr

Chief Information Officer at Hedgeserv Chief Science Officer at large @PraxisFlow , The Phoenix Project and Visible Ops Co-Author.

Kevin Behr

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How Service Catalogs Help Enterprise IT Innovation November 17, 2015 No Comments

Over the past few decades, organizations have applied technology primarily to reduce costs. Faster computers, instantaneous global communications, and specialized software for every business function have dramatically improved productivity and driven costs out of the value chain.

But the days of cost reduction as the primary focus of IT may have ended. As noted here a year ago, “improving the effectiveness of business processes” has replaced reducing costs as the top concern of IT leaders.

BPI IT innovation report - accelerating business transformationNow, fresh research from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network reinforces and builds on this trend. Across enterprises, business leaders are looking to IT and new technologies to help “increase agility, improve customer experience, and make their companies more competitive.”

As the mission of IT is transformed from driving out costs to driving business model innovation, IT’s profile is raised as well. Per the BPI research, almost two-thirds (65%) of enterprises “say technology has become ‘far more important’ to their organizations in the past five years. Another 28% see it as ‘somewhat’ more important.”

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The CIO’s Role in Stellar Customer Experience – Hunter Muller November 10, 2015 No Comments

The role of the CIO has shifted dramatically in the past few years, from the traditional focus on “keeping the lights on” to playing a more strategic part in aligning IT with the business, as well as embracing trends like the consumerization of IT.

Yet in his new book The Big Shift in IT Leadership, author Hunter Muller “contends that many CIOs remain focused inward, only concerned with technology,” according to Anita Bruzzese on The Fast Track blog.

The Big Shift in IT Leadership: How Great CIOs Leverage the Power of Technology for Strategic Business Growth in the Customer-Centric EconomyAs Bruzzese writes, “The best CIOs, (Muller) says, know that results beat out technology. Having great technology doesn’t mean much if customers aren’t having a good user experience.”

Muller believes CIOs should not only contribute their expertise to efforts aimed at providing a great customer experience (for both internal and external “customers”), but to take a leadership role in this area.

He views IT leaders as uniquely positioned for this task, because CIOs “have total visibility across the organization,” and with that access, “have a golden opportunity to help develop innovative strategies and spur collaborations that will have a big impact on the organization’s overall success.”

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Six Ways to Make Enterprise Collaboration Work Better November 3, 2015 No Comments

The current state of the market for enterprise collaboration applications seems to present somewhat of a paradox. On one hand, leaders in business and government recognize the increasingly vital role collaboration will play in the future of work, and the benefits of apply the right tools and technology to facilitate that collaboration.

On the other hand, other than for simple point-solution tools (e.g., file sharing, team chat applications), actual adoption of enterprise collaboration technology remains low. They are often viewed as tools that are difficult for CIOs to “sell” within their organizations.

Business collaboration toolsThe tide may be shifting: a recent study by IDG Global Research found that 79% of all respondents consider internal collaboration to be of high importance at their organizations overall and 60% of all respondents consider external collaboration to be of high importance.” Furthermore, half plan to back up those beliefs with increased spending on enterprise collaboration technology in the coming year.

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Three More Key Findings About the Future of IT Service Management from EMA Research October 27, 2015 No Comments

The consumerization of IT, digital business model disruption, and the need for greater speed in technology development are combining to dramatically change the role of IT service management. According to Dennis Drogseth of Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), “Both the ‘rules’ and the ‘roles’ governing IT Service Management (ITSM) are evolving” as the relationship changes “between IT and its service consumers.”

Cloud computing, mobile, and the future of ITSMIn The Future of ITSM: How Are Roles (and Rules) Changing? Part 2, Drogseth details several conclusions from the organization’s research, expanding on previously reported findings. Here are three observations that stand out, with additional commentary.

Service management isn’t just for IT anymore.

Among EMA’s findings, “89% of respondents had plans to consolidate IT and non-IT customer service.”

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Agile, DevOps Feed the Need for (Business) Speed October 20, 2015 1 Comment

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? “Slow and steady wins the race”? Econ 101 lectures about economies of scale? Business truisms like “Nobody ever got fired for buying…” (insert any large, established vendor name here)?

Such nuggets of business wisdom seem to no longer apply. Today, in the words of author Jason Jennings, “It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow.” Competitive advantage comes from reworking business processes and service delivery models to improve speed not by 10% or even 100%, but by multiples. Consider:

  • How Agile, Scrum and DevOps meet need for business speedAccording to a recent Financial Times story by Lisa Pollack, “A Berlin company, founded in 2013, built an online service that allows new customers to open a bank account in under eight minutes…The company, Number26, has signed up more than 30,000 customers after launching what it deems ‘Europe’s most modern bank account’ in January.”

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How to Provide Simply Great Customer Service October 14, 2015 1 Comment

As products and services become more commoditized, competition is increasingly global, and high product quality is no longer a differentiator, the potential reward for providing excellent customer service becomes ever greater. As noted here recently, having “happy customers (leads) to higher profitability and stock price.”

Simple, great customer serviceThe costs of poor customer become greater as well. According to the latest customer service statistics, just 1% of customers ” feel that their expectations of good customer service are always met.” Meanwhile, 86% are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience.

Among other findings regarding the frustration caused by poor customer service:

  • 84% of customers say that their expectations had not been exceeded in their last customer service interaction.
  • 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service.
  • 58% will never use the company again after a negative experience.

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How to Provision a Virtual Private Cloud in 45 Seconds October 12, 2015 2 Comments

By Andrew Kramer and Matt Howe

There’s increasing interest among enterprises in IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service). Many organizations are moving their servers to cloud-based providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, among others. The promise of the cloud is fast and cheap infrastructure, but that needs also be balanced with security and control.

Top cloud services providersAll cloud providers offer API integration to their services; Amazon has a vast array of services and completely documented APIs (and even a Ruby SDK), making the work of creating integration with these services fairly easy—if you have the right tools.

One of our customers, a global technology company, recently asked us to create a way to provision a Virtual Private Cloud that included their business rules—something they’ve struggled with using other tooling.

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