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The IT that Matters to the CEO

Gil Cattelain

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May 27, 2014 5:04 pm

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images (1)To keep up in the marketplace today, an organization must do more than rely on the same management, production and distribution methods it has always used. IT is more fundamental than ever to the development of an effective and successful business. According to the IBM Global CEO study, IT was only the sixth most important CEO concern in 2004; by 2010, it had climbed to the top of the list.

As the importance of IT increases, so does the need for corporate executives to understand how to manage IT assets. However, as CIO magazine recently pointed out, many executives lack the knowledge they need to do this. How can you help your organization’s executives gain the IT know-how they need? Here is a list of the most important IT concerns for CEOs.

The impact of new technologies

CEOs wants to know how new technologies may help or hinder the business. They’ll have heard of Windows 8, the cloud or wearable devices, and they’ll look to IT for advice on these issues. They won’t be interested in differences in system requirements; executives want to know if a new technology will set the organization apart from competitors. Your job when speaking to executives is to provide a deeper understanding of how a new technology could affect business services or impact security.

Ways to handle data overload

According to an Oracle report, 94 percent of C-level executives say their organization is collecting and managing an average of 86 percent more business information today than two years ago. It is vital to the CEO that IT streamlines processes and makes data more manageable. Executives want to know what processes can improve the way the business handles its data.

Techniques to improve customer service

The CEO also wants to know how new technologies will align with and entice customers. CEOs need stat and trend reports that let them know how well they are meeting the needs of their customers. What information—such as Facebook likes, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ trends or web use statistics—can help executives measure the success of initiatives outside the IT department? Executives need to know if there are technologies that can improve the customer experience without sacrificing profit.

Ways to empower employees

How technology affects an organization internally is just as important to executives as how it affects customers. Executives need to know what technology, such as a new mobile file access solution, could enable more productivity. Executives also need to hear the staff’s concerns and learn what technology could ease these complaints in a cost-effective manner. Don’t forget the helpdesk as a source for this kind of information.

How to improve security

Executives may not need or want to know the details of what security measures are in place, but they do need to know if these processes are keeping the organization safe. When an announcement like Heartbleed makes the news, executives need to know what systems are vulnerable and how long it will take to fix them. A crucial piece of information for executives is what security threats need to be addressed next.

Choosing the right IT solutions is becoming increasingly crucial to modern organizations, and as the Harvard Business Review said, the CEO can no longer afford to delegate these decisions to IT managers alone. As an IT professional, the decision won’t be up to you. What is up to you is how informed the CEO and other executives are about the choices before them.

Thanks for reading!

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