Fred Giron, VP, Senior Research Director and Ted Schadler, VP, Principal Analyst


There was a time when IT was seen as a centralized operational function whose role was to keep hardware and software running reliably — period. But as technology found its way into every function of business, including more customer-facing use cases, the role of the technology organization and leader has changed. In this episode, VP, Senior Research Director Fred Giron and VP, Principal Analyst Ted Schadler describe new research outlining the three key ways that technology is helping power growth today and how the CIO’s role is changing.

The episode starts with Schadler pointing out that, while there are still some CIOs who see their role as making sure technology runs smoothly at the lowest cost possible, the new breed of tech leader “has more of a CTO/customer impact business orientation,” he says. “Maybe they went to business school or came from the business and were asked to get into technology as a leader,” so they have a much stronger focus on the customer. And it’s that newer, more customer-focused breed of CIO that will power growth in their organization, Schadler says.

From there, the analysts define the three main ways that the technology organization can drive growth at their organization, based on their recent research. The first area is “enable growth,” which is seen as the table stakes of providing the right solutions, according to Schadler. “It means making sure the rest of the company can drive growth.” The second area is “creation of growth.” While technology leaders don’t own product development or customer engagement, they bring innovation and new solutions to product owners and other business roles to create new growth streams that didn’t exist before. And the third is “amplifying growth,” which means to optimize existing areas of growth through insights and emerging tech (think AI and automation).

Throughout the episode, both analysts cite real-world examples of innovative firms they interviewed as part of their research to illustrate the three growth vectors — enable, create, and amplify — and pinpoint how they may vary in B2B vs. B2C. The episode closes with some advice on how to elevate technology’s role in powering growth at your organization, wherever you may be on the maturity curve.

If you want to learn more about the CIO’s role in the growth agenda, make a point to attend the upcoming webinar, Are You Ready For Tech’s New Role In The Growth Agenda? And this fall, be sure to check out Forrester’s Technology & Innovation Forums in North America, APAC, and EMEA. Each event will have a keynote on the topic and various other sessions dedicated to it.