Mis Engaging in Cio-Cxo "Conversations That Matter": an Interview with Peter Keen

Topics: Chief information officer, Business process, Innovation Pages: 6 (2240 words) Published: May 6, 2013
Nowadays, management information systems (MIS) simplify the company’s operating and procedures. It also increased among organizations and provides them a good management of the organization itself. In order to make it a hundred percent efficient and eventually make it collaborate with the firm, a good coordination of this department should be considered. In this article “Engaging in CIO-CxO Conversations that Matter”, Peter Keen, the Chairman of Keen Innovations, is interviewed by Omar El Sawy. He was asked a few questions about the issues and barriers to performance that they faced within the domain of MIS and what are the potential solutions to get rid of it. First of all, I will react in this paper to the answers provided by Peter keen. Later on, I will build an opinion about his ideas and use references to strengthen it. Q1: I have heard you say more than once that CxOs are not interested in “IT.” Can you explain what you mean by that? The chairman and advisor of Keen Innovations, Peter Keen, clearly answered this question. He claimed that it is extremely important that CxOs are aware of how important is the presence of information systems within their company and the way it can spread and assimilate relationships between the companies processes. He also states that the chief executive officers of companies do not like technology and information systems. In reality, it’s not that they don’t like technology and information systems, it is just that they don’t like to know what is behind these technologies and all the electronic features and mechanisms that they are made of. All they care about is the actual added value that these technologies bring to the business and how this technology increases the performance of the company. Peter Keen brought up the case of Facebook, and states that 300 million users exploit Facebook’s platform without really knowing how it actually works. According to Peter Keen, the role of CIOs is as important as any other CxO if it is not even more important. Since CIOs know perfectly what is going on inside the company, they know how to solve problems efficiently and effectively through information technology. I believe that CIOs should officially be in the committee of decision making within the company since their strategy in terms of making decisions can bring a great result to the company. “All this suggests that the CIO could become the Chief Operations Officer. What is today just ‘keeping the lights on’ will turn tomorrow into ‘keeping the business running’”.(Alter,2006) Personally, I see that CxOs and CIOs need each other in an organization. They should put their efforts and work together so that their harmony makes the company’s performance better when it comes to solving inner problems that will for sure enhance high revenues in terms of making profit.

Q2: As you look back at the last 30 years, how do you think that the role of the CIO has changed in terms of its focus on the operations mission vis-a- vis business strategy, and what does that suggest for CIO role changes in the future ?

For this question, El Sawy asked Peter Keen how did the role of CIOs change over the last thirty years and how this change would help finding out how the future leaders of IT departments will improve. To efficiently answer his question, Peter Keen talks about the change that the department as a whole knew as time went by. Before, companies invested money in IT without really applying every concept to the firm’s missions and goals. However, now the technical part of the IT department is outsourced. The role of the CIO has changed to become a vital part of a firm. For instance, one of the tasks that a CIO is responsible of is insourcing and outsourcing which brings competitive advantage to the organization. “Today, the CIO manages IT change – but already, IT is increasingly involved in driving business changes which keep a company ahead of the competition. The CIO can identify what business...
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