Term Project Report
“Leadership, Change and Growth: CIO as a driver of business at IBM”
Dr Shaobo Ji
Abstract: The case study analyses the evolving role of CIO at IBM as a driver of growth and change within the organization. It makes an attempt to first describe 2 key challenges facing a CIO working for a “smart” and integrated enterprise and ends by making recommendations which can serve as a blue print not only for IBM but for any organization looking to use IT as a primary source of business growth and development.
Leadership, Change and Growth: CIO as a driver of business at IBM Company Profile:
IBM is one of the largest globally integrated enterprise in the world and since 2000, the company has spent over $70 Billion on research and development to implement innovation to technology that supports Big Data, cloud, mobile and social computing. The company boasts the world’s largest cloud for analytics and allows over 200,000 employees access to perform analytics on multitude of business functions (sales forecasting, skills evaluation etc.) while significantly improving upon project delivery time. The company has seen a sharp change in direction in the previous decade from hardware production to Services and Software units now taking the driving seat for revenue generation. Services and Software are now responsible for 41% and 44% of profit respectively (2015 IBM Road Map, 2012) The company’s new focus according to its Vision 2015 statement is to become a Smart Enterprise, which can align its IT and Business unit strategies to provide solutions to its clients which would increase business processes and supply chain efficiencies along with a focus on going “Green” by curtailing excessive energy consumption and waste. It is with this vision that the role of CIO has to evolve to provide leadership and create linkages within the organization and between partners to deliver the new IT led growth for IBM. The Role of CIO:
The role of CIO has been transformed from that of an IT specialist working in the background focused on “keeping the lights on” to a more integrated partner at the business level becoming a catalyst and an enabler for the company to move towards an integrated enterprise. The CIO of today performs a wide range on nontraditional tasks ranging from identifying emerging technologies, providing IT support to ensure there is no disruption of service, acting as key strategic partner to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer). According to a research conducted by IBM, the modern CIO spends approximately 55% of his/her time on activities which spur innovation, these activities range from implementing new technologies and generating innovative plans to drive growth for the business. IBM prides itself as an early adopter and considers its organizational structure flexible enough to identify and implement changes quicker than its competitors to enable it to maintain its competitive advantage. The figure below (Today’s challenges, Tomorrow’s CIO, 2008) illustrates the changing role of the CIO and provides a contrast between the roles and responsibilities of today with those of tomorrow. Ambitious CIO’s have an opportunity to form and drive business wide transformation rather than be confined to IT centered change (Todays challenges, Tomorrows CIO, 2008). Experience gained in other areas of business before becoming CIO, combined with a deep understanding of the power of technology to transform operating models, will position the CIO as a driving force in business model innovation (Todays challenges, Tomorrows CIO, 2008).
Challenges for CIO at IBM:
The CIO at IBM is faced with multiple challenges as the company surges forward to attain the goals outlined in its 2015 Road Map. The shift in strategy and emerging Web 2.0 technologies require a proactive approach to identify processes and tasks which can lead to revenue growth and also increase employee productivity. The...
References: “2015 IBM Road Map: Generating Higher Value at IBM” IBM, accessed April 8, 2013
“Today’s Challenges, Tomorrow’s CIO Laying the groundwork and creating conditions for success” IBM, accessed April 8, 2013
“The smarter planet: a mandate for CIO leadership in a radically changing world” IBM, accessed April 8, 2013
“The Essential CIO: Insights from the Global Chief Information Officer Study” IBM, accessed April 8, 2013
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