Highlights from CIO-CMO Exchange 2018

If you attended this event or had intended to and missed out, here is a great overview of key takeaways for you and your team. Feel free to share!

1) Every business is a technology business with a license to operate in their sector

Today, technology has become such an important component of business performance, that every business should see themselves as a “technology business with a license to operate in their chosen sector”.  

In some industries, this is easier to picture than in others. For example, it’s clear today, that banks are essentially technology businesses with a license to provide financial services.

While some organisations are not being disrupted by digital as quickly as others, increasingly the same principle needs to apply to all industry sectors: Utilities, Primary Industries, Insurance and Logistics to name a few.

Digital needs to be front and centre on the radar of today’s CEO.

2) Combine analogue and digital technologies to improve customer engagement

Customer centricity demands a genuine passion for customer happiness based on customer empathy.

While AI and other emerging technologies can’t actually “feel” when used effectively, they can really improve overall consumer engagement and satisfaction.

Empathy demands an understanding of the customer. In many cases, AI can understand customer interaction data faster and better than any human, and it can learn how customers respond to various options presented to help optimise their recommendations over time.

Recent research shows that customers that engage via digital channels typically have higher satisfaction than those that don’t.

Traditionally brands broadcasted a one-way communication to their customers.

This evolved into a two-way dialog model where social and digital channels enabled 1:1 interactions between brand and consumers in real time.

More recently, AI has enabled a three-way connectivity model with multi-way communication between brands, consumers and objects, where predictive and real-time analytics enables a richer interaction. IOT connected devices will start to play an increasingly important part of this dialogue. 

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3) Set a clear digital vision and actionable strategies

So how do you start to introduce smart new tech into your organisation? First, you need a clear digital vision and strategy and a real understanding of what digital tech means for your organisation.

The strategy needs a purpose, a method, timeframe and success metrics. Too many organisations simply have digital vision statements rather than actionable strategies. Without a clear alignment between strategy and delivery, the vision can fail to ever actually deliver tangible benefits to customers or staff. 

4) Be clear on where you are now               

It can be uncomfortable but a quick internal baseline will help the organisation make strategy-driven decisions going forward.

At Solnet, we help our clients baseline their digital capabilities across a range of factors that help Executive and Senior Leadership Teams understand where they are today, and opportunities to build capability.

Digital transformation starts with the CEO. External consultants can help leadership teams by providing objectivity and external reference points without the influence of internal functional objectives.

5) Move from functional silos to product led teams with end-to-end accountability

If your marketing and IT teams are still sitting at opposite ends of the building it’s probably time to re-think your organisation design. Co-located cross-functional teams all working together to achieve a clearly defined objective simply work better.

6) Don’t get distracted by fancy new tools

This happens to all of us from time to time. Something new comes and we jump to play with a new bit of tech because this our passion or because we want to impress our stakeholders. Yet, we all know that there are some very cool technologies available, innovative technology alone doesn’t solve business problems.

Stay focused on the business outcome you are trying to achieve, and continually align the desire to be “innovative” with the commercial realities of the business, and strategic objectives.

We hope you enjoyed this event and find this article useful. If you want to chat with Solnet about the business challenges which are top of mind for you, please get in touch.