The Renaissance was possible because of dissemination of ideas from the later 15th century. The availability of paper and the subsequent invention of the printing press in 1445 forever changed the lives of people in Europe and, eventually, all over the world. Previously, bookmaking entailed copying all the words and illustrations by hand, often onto parchment or animal skin. The labor that went into creating books made each one very expensive to make and acquire. The advent of the printing press helped produce books better, faster, and cheaper and led to disruptive cultural revolution.

We are experiencing a very similar phenomenon today. We are in the midst of digital disruption. The printing press of our time is platforms such as social, mobile, cloud and analytics that help propagate value to our customers better, faster and more cheaply than previously available options. So whether you are on board or not, this disruption is taking place; the two choices you have are: become a disruptive CIO or be disrupted.

The only way to deal with digital disruption is to be on the offense. Alignment is not enough; developing and delivering on-budget, on-time solutions will not be sufficient, nor will delivering reliable technology. You have to collaborate with your business peers to deliver business outcomes — to increase sales, deliver growth, engage your workforce, and reduce the cost of ongoing operations. Forrester’s CIO Forums on May 6-7 in Washington, D.C. and June 10-11 in London will give you the tools to be on the offensive by mastering the art of delivering and driving business outcomes. Here is a glimpse of the content we are planning to showcase at the forum:

  • The CIO as a business service driver. Bobby Cameron will deliver the keynote articulating the need for CIOs to shift their thinking to business services and how to construct and deliver these services. I will moderate a panel of executive leaders to discuss business expectations from the CIO role.   
  • Driving customer-centered, sustained innovation. Nigel Fenwick will highlight companies where CIOs contributed significantly in creating and improving customer experiences. Chip Gliedman will moderate a panel with leaders from Dell and Xerox PARC to discuss the capabilities you need to build in your organization for sustained innovation.  
  • Delivering business outcomes through technology. Ted Schadler will discuss how mobile technologies deliver better sales. Rob Koplowitz will lead a panel on delivering value from social technologies.

Are you currently driving business outcomes or a significant contributor to them? We would love to hear your story if you are a disruptive CIO. I also look forward to sharing and discussing these ideas with you at the CIO Forums in the US and Europe.