Digital CIO

Digital CIOs need networks fit for the future

Digital transformation

Insights from Chris Cochrane, inspired by our report, The digital CIO

By Chris Cochrane, CIO, Global Services.

Chris Cochrane, CIOI met fellow CIOs back in October when I spoke at the CIO Leadership summit. It was clear that everyone in business, from the board to operational teams, is talking about cloud-based services and applications. They realise digital transformation is vital to competitiveness. And of course they’re right.

CIOs have to stay in control.

But CIOs now have to channel that growing excitement about IT in the right way. Any department with a credit card can buy their own IT – our latest report on the Digital CIO says a fifth of spending on it will come from outside the IT department in the next two years.

That means CIOs have to help teams choose the right tools. And they have to make sure organisations take opportunities in a coordinated, not scatter-gun way, and don’t end up with costly cloud chaos.
The key is a well-managed, secure network that performs well, gives customers a great experience and sets organisations up for success. It’s the ‘nervous system’, as a client puts it in the Digital CIO report.

CIOs need partners to get the best for their business.

But networks are complex, and many can’t keep up with demand. Sixty-five percent of organisations say their infrastructure is struggling to cope with digital technologies. Others are finding that hybrid networks are the way forward. Essential applications can run over private networks like IP or Ethernet, for instance, with other traffic on the public internet.  It’s CIOs’ job to build the right hybrid. But CIOs are already busy – 29% say they have too many responsibilities, and 61% say they’re spending time on current IT systems, not planning future ones. Managing multiple clouds for documents, resource planning systems and collaboration software probably doesn’t help. Especially if they don’t work well together.

No wonder 43% of organisations want a single solution to manage the cloud centrally. Successful CIOs realise this will make networks easier to control, and develop.

And they can also take advantage of technologies like Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV), bypassing costly hardware changes. These will help organisations connect easily and securely to any applications and data. CIOs can then get the performance they need. And they can control security and capacity, along with how new services link to existing infrastructure.

And with that extra control, customers, organisations and their people will see benefits like:

  • Happier customers. Etihad virtualised three contact centres in the Middle East and the UK. Now its 450 agents answer calls 10% faster – and productivity for agents servicing cargo customers is up 70%.
  • More efficiency. Kinross Gold’s new network links ten mines in six countries with its HQ in Canada, providing a secure, always-on base for applications from supply chain and fleet management to finance and accounting.
  • Higher productivity. Insurance giant RSA is more competitive thanks to a cloud-based network that’s freed its 19,000 people to work in different ways. Email use is down 30%, as they’re using social media-style tools to collaborate, raising productivity and cutting costs.

And here’s why you should download the report.

You’ll hear from more than 1000 CIOs across 11 countries about how their role is changing further as they lead their organisations into the digital future.

And learn about the critical CIO skills for digital success, views on cloud models and security, the reasons behind multi-speed technology approaches and who is really spending the IT budget.

Download the full report by filling out the form.

About the author.

Chris is the CIO for BT’s Global Services division, which provides networked IT services to some of BT’s biggest customers – located in more than 170 countries around the world. Leading a team of solutions architects, client service professionals and engineers specialising in delivering complex contracts, he’s responsible for driving innovation, transforming the business and delivering technical solutions to BT’s customers.

Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.

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