Forrester held its first CIO Summit in New Delhi, India on September 26, 2012. The theme of the event was “From IT To Business Technology (BT) And Beyond.” There were more than 100 attendees, and it was truly a memorable experience interacting with everyone. By the end of the day, I had received encouraging responses from attendees, as many CIOs expressed their willingness to work with Forrester. They found that no other research firm focuses on understanding how changing customer expectations affect what the business needs from them or helps them make better decisions to become successful and influential leaders. We had a great mix of analyst and CIO presentations, and the panel discussion on “Taking Your First Business Technology Steps” with our guest CIO speakers was complete bliss.

The key takeaways from the summit:

·         IT/business alignment doesn’t necessarily equate to success. The consumerization of IT and fast-changing business dynamics make it challenging for CIOs to continue to align their IT organizations with the business. The reality in today’s world is that IT must become an integral part of the business and CIOs need to develop their IT strategy in conjunction with business leaders.

·         Disrupt or be ready to get disrupted. According to Forrester’sForrsights Budgets and Priorities Tracker Survey, Q2 2012,customer expectations are the top concern among business decision-makers in Asia Pacific. Today, customers are redefining differentiation for organizations in the age of the customer and are setting the stage for rapid digital disruption.

·         Hire a chief mobility officer to coordinate mobile efforts across the business and IT. Mobile devices are transferring power to individuals in their moments of action. It is becoming the key to successful systems of engagement with employees, customers, and partners. CIOs and the business should hire a “chief mobility officer” (CMOO) to create a mobile engagement guide and develop a mobile app architecture blueprint for their organizations.

·         Articulate the IT-to-BT message better. CIOs are great at understanding the business, but more from a technology perspective. This makes them less effective at articulating the message in business terms. CIOs need to build greater trust with business leaders by adopting an approach that is proactive rather than reactive and that starts and ends with business.

·         View innovation beyond technology. Innovation still revolves around “how to reduce IT spending” and not “how technology can help create new revenue streams for the business.” Businesses are looking for tools and capabilities to understand and respond to customer needs better, faster, and cheaper. Successful CIOs will create opportunities for the organization to innovate and be willing to take risks with disruptive technologies to serve business needs.

If you had attended the India CIO summit, please share your experience OR share your thoughts on what initiatives you are taking in your organization to become a BT leader.