Customers are demanding compelling, state-of-the-art technology and the CIO is the executive best positioned to deliver.

I just published an article in the MIT Sloan Business Management Review that states the case. Here are a few important ideas:

  • The CIO must manage two technology agendas — Back Office that runs the company, and Business Technology for customers. The two sets of technology are highly connected — one executive must oversee both to yield the best result.
  • Back Office and Business Technology must both evolve quickly — what Forrester calls “Fast Fast.” Approaches like “Bi-Modal” will result in fractured customer experience.
  • Companies with highly-rated customer experience have higher-tenure CIOs, younger CIOs, and CIOs that share metrics with Chief Marketing Officers.

Want to figure out if your CIO gets it? Ask he or she one question: “Who is your customer?” If their first answer is: “The customer of the company” you are on the right track. If they answer: “The company” or “My colleagues” or “Business units” or “Internal users,” you’ve got a one-agenda CIO and your voyage has just begun.