I recently read a great article in Computerworld, The New Metrics for CIO Success, by John D. Halamka, which describes how the CIO’s role has changed since he started his career as a CIO in 1997. In his early career he says that success was defined by the basics: email delivery, network connectivity and application functionality. Now, in 2011 the CIO role he describes is much more complex:
- Deliver massive infrastructure in an environment of constant change, while maintaining reliability and security.
- Deliver applications that support business processes in increasingly short time frames with limited resources – both within the IT department and among the business owners of those processes.
He goes on to say that modern CIOs are not technologists or evangelists for innovation, but customer relationship managers, strategic communicators and project managers, delicately balancing project portfolios, available resources and governance. This all rings true to me.
Clearly, to be successful, CIO’s must be able to anticipate the evolving needs of their organization. On top of that they must manage to do more with less; be it less money, fewer resources, or less time. Too often when we’re evangelizing a technology or solution we emphasize cost savings alone. While costs matter (a lot), when you think about the metrics by which a CIO’s success will likely be measured what may be even more important than cost savings are strategic business benefits such as improvements in workflow, productivity, security, efficiency, etc.
I’ve blogged previously about how the need for organizations to reduce costs appears to be driving growth of Managed Print Services. You’ve likely also seen the oft-quoted research that shows “MPS can achieve an average of 30% cost savings.” However, the benefits of MPS extend well beyond cost savings. MPS implementations can increase productivity and efficiency through improved document workflow processes, identify and address security gaps, as well as add new functionality and capabilities.
Given the new metrics for CIO success, I think that the real story is that MPS is a strategy that can help.