IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

How CIOs can buck the status quo and drive business innovation

Tue 21 Feb 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

CIOs are no longer just great technologists – in fact today’s CIO can no longer afford to be just a great technologist. The successful CIO of tomorrow is a revenue generator, customer engagement guru, business leader.

Successful CIOs are changing business models in their organisation – they are becoming Disruptors. But what does that mean exactly?

While disruption was a bad word when we grew up – goofing off in class, talking during a movie, interrupting an adult conversation – today in business and technology, disruption is a magic word.

The words “disruptive technology” were first coined by Harvard Business School graduate and current HBS professor Clayton Christensen in his 1997 book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma.”

In his later book, “The Innovator's Solution,” Christensen replaced the term disruptive technology with “disruptive innovation” because he recognised that few technologies are intrinsically disruptive or sustaining in character; rather, it is the business model that the technology enables that creates the disruptive impact. 

The 1908 Model T Ford was a disruptive technology but the previous 30 years of combustion engine automobiles were not. Why? Because they were not mass produced – it was the business model of the assembly line that made this happen.

Let’s talk about some disruptors today, starting with Uber. In 2010 Uber had 10 cars and 100 friends. Six years and 1 billion rides later, Uber has destroyed the 100-year old taxi industry.

The three greatest things about Uber are:

  • You can rate your driver
  • You can order a ride from your mobile phone and get picked up in minutes, and
  • The price is cheaper for superior service.

More people are using Uber than taxis now. After all, who doesn’t want a faster, cheaper, premium service? I will pay for that any day!

Amazon is another example. In 1994 a New York finance guy named Jeff Bezos left his job to jump on what he saw as a fast moving train: Internet commerce.

He had a vision to start an online “everything store” and he picked books to be the first product he would sell. Within the first two months in business, Amazon had sold books to all 50 states and 45 countries.

Turns out, people wanted an easier way to buy books. The Internet was the answer and Amazon made it happen. The company withstood the dot com bubble and is now the world’s largest online retailer.

But Amazon didn’t rest on their laurels built on books. Enter Amazon Web Services. Amazon created a complete retail computing infrastructure for standardised, automated web services including storage and virtual servers that created an entire new revenue stream.

Amazon is both a B2C and B2B disruptor which is very rare.

These are examples of companies who knew the disruptor’s secret. Their founders reimagined existing technology. They grabbed decaying models crying out for reinvention and applied a better solution by pushing the limits of technology.

So what was their secret? Disruptors tend to share these three common traits:

  1. They rethink with technology
  2. They are consumed by the consumer
  3. They are never satisfied

And there are several industries out there right now that are ripe for disruption – industries that are not so focused on the customer. When was the last time you called your bank, airline, credit card company, software provider, and how was your experience?

What does this mean for today’s CIO? It’s a call to action to throw out the old rules and look at models within your business through a new lens, one that questions “how can we better engage our customers, take market-share from our competitors, and grow our business exponentially?” This is now your purview as CIO – to drive digital transformation initiatives for your business. 

But where to begin, and why is it so hard to go digital? There are two reasons. The first one is that many of the technologies out there are not quite ready for prime time and CIOs wrestle with whether or not they should build their own solution or leverage vendor applications. The second reason, and this is a biggie, is that many IT budgets can’t afford it.

According to industry analysts, about 89% of a typical IT budget goes towards keeping the lights on, leaving only 11% for innovation initiatives – things that will actually increase revenue, decrease costs, engage your customers, or take market share from your competitors. But the only way you can get there is to drastically turn this spend model on its head.

Take our industry for example – enterprise software support. This industry is ripe for disruption – it’s a decades old model dictated by the software vendors, and no longer sufficient for many of today’s CIO.

You can no longer afford to be held hostage to these outdated IT models. You have to find more budget to invest in innovation if you want to become a disruptor. The days of CIOs being strictly technologists are long over. The best CIOs are revenue generators. They are business people who leverage technology to create new business models.

There has never been a better time to be a CIO. With a digital and customer-focused mindset, companies are relying on their CIOs to contribute so much more than operational IT.

And the ones who do that are separating their companies from industry peers. They’re adopting an “innovation agility” strategy, choosing a new path that opens up an array of choices for their organisation.

An innovation agility strategy is about liberating your resources — your people, your money, your time — so you can invest in business models that move the needle.

For example, with an innovation agility approach, you can manage your on-premise applications together with your cloud applications in a hybrid IT environment like Gartner and Forrester recommend.

You can take advantage of the Big Data capabilities out there today, and drive enterprise mobility or social solutions and beyond. If you are a retailer you can free up funds for critical “omni-channel presence” initiatives that drive revenue.

It’s this kind of freeing up of resources that allows you to innovate throughout your organisation, empower your business units, and better engage both your employees and your customers.

With this simple change in thinking, the possibilities are limitless. You can build the next Uber with this mindset, and create exciting change for your organisation by thinking like a disruptor.

W. Edwards Deming once said, “No one has to change. Survival is optional.” So choose to become a change agent – don’t be held back by complacency, frozen by the status quo, just keeping the lights on. Capitalise on emerging trends and transform the way you do business today.

Article by Sebastian Grady, President of Rimini Street

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Attain
Revenue operations is taking centre stage
As the business world continues to evolve, new demands need to be met to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 
Story image
Apple
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Trading up: It's time to swap core systems for flexible digital applications
This year will see more oranisations planning and commencing high tech renovations that will shake up the way they operate.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Infrastructure
Nutanix study reveals financial services sector lagging with multicloud adoption
Nutanix has released new research that reveals the financial services sector is lagging behind when it comes to multicloud adoption.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Fintech
Airwallex launches new bank feed integration with NetSuite
Airwallex has launched a new bank feed integration with NetSuite, developed in partnership with NetSuite solution partner, Onlineone.
Story image
Remote Working
Australia’s remote workers face connectivity and security issues
SOTI's new report finds better video conferencing technology and improved security measures are top concerns for remote workers in Australia.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
trust
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
CRM
Zendesk announces new conversational CRM solutions
“The last few years have made it obvious that digital is the front door, convenience is paramount and relationships are anchored in conversations."
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Workato
Workato unveils enhancements to enterprise automation platform
"The extra layer of protection with EKM, zero-logging, and hourly key rotation gives customers a lot more visibility and control over more sensitive data."
Story image
Microsoft
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Manufacturing
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub.