Thomas Kurian on the Role of Today’s CIO in Cloud & Business Transformation


clip_image002Expectations of business-driven IT are higher than ever and changing rapidly.  Words like agility, mobility, digital, data, cloud and customer centricity are common and constant from Line of Business (LOBs) executives like CMOs. Today’s business must move at the pace of – scratch that – ahead of the pace of today’s consumer. Businesses must anticipate customers’ needs to be truly customer-centric organizations.  Innovation through the cloud is a big force driving customer experience and customer centricity.

Here’s another word of importance: collaboration.  And collaboration is essential to make a successful business-led technology transformation. Today’s CIO will play a pivotal role in crafting that collaboration between IT and business leaders. Unfortunately, the process hasn’t taken root just yet.

According to a recent ZDNet article, research shows that confidence and collaboration between LOBs and IT is not strong. The article cites a new CIO Magazine survey showing that 54% of business leaders view IT “as an obstacle to their mission.” Forrester research shows that less than half of marketing managers collaborate with IT when developing a technology strategy. And our Oracle study revealed that less than 1/3 of marketing and IT executives surveyed reported collaborating “frequently,” while at the same time noting greater success when they do collaborate.

Kurian believes the CIO will play a pivotal role with collaboration, cloud and business transformation. In this video he states “cloud actually empowers CIOs to take the lead with innovation.” He goes on to say that today’s CIO role is not diminished just different, requiring a new business mindset. The CIO is very much essential to this new digital, customer-centric business revolution.

ZDNet reporter Dion Hinchcliffe had some great insights on the future role of CIOs: “The CIO should have – or should quickly ascertain – a better sense of how to translate the current business into today’s emerging digital marketplaces and channels. And yes, that means knowing more about how to apply digital to various parts of the enterprise than line of business executives. Relentless education and experimentation is required here to be successful. The CIO should be the visionary and evangelist that can get business – from the management team to the workforce – fully on board with digital business.”

Cloud is the future of business transformation; CIOs will play a key role. As Kurian says, CIOs are extremely important to their executives and businesses, and the cloud empowers them to take the lead.  The best CIOs in the industry are beginning to grasp that and train their staff to become experts in cloud technologies. For more on cloud innovation, read Oracle CEO Mark Hurd’s recent piece on how cloud is revolutionizing business in four key areas.

This is just one entry in a series of blog videos with Kurian. Oracle Social Cloud Group VP Meg Bear spent the day recently with Kurian discussing everything from the changing role of today’s CMO and CIO, to data and innovation, to the importance of user experience. Check back each week as we feature a new video with insights from Kurian on how Oracle is partnering and co-innovating with our customers to help pave a path of success and deliver consistent, rewarding and exceptional experiences for their customers. Watch the video here.

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