Channeling CIO Opportunities In a Year of Change

To get in CIOs’ pockets, it’s important to get inside their heads. And trust me, CIOs have a lot on their minds in 2011. By understanding what they’re thinki

March 29, 2011

3 Min Read
Channeling CIO Opportunities In a Year of Change

By Novell Guest Blog 2


To get in CIOs’ pockets, it’s important to get inside their heads. And trust me, CIOs have a lot on their minds in 2011. By understanding what they’re thinking, channel partners can turn CIO challenges into attractive opportunities. Earlier this year, InformationWeek listed the Top 10 CIO Issues for 2011. Here are a few of the key points, and the opportunities for channel partners.

The points included:

  • CIOs need to carefully determine where implementing high-performance systems will deliver the best functional capabilities combined with the highest business value.

  • In 2011, a tangle of private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds and a highly adaptable data center will all contribute to business success—or failure. This presents major channel opportunities as companies build and manage internal clouds. Helping customers deploy identity-infused tools to secure and automate the management of these workloads will provide additional opportunities as companies prepare to push workloads beyond their firewalls.

  • Customers will want to be much more involved with their vendors. Collaboration tools, security policies, compliance requirements and more will come into play as customer engagement soars.

  • CIOs will need a strategy for integrating into the corporate infrastructure the barrage of mobile devices—both company-owned and personal—that are making their way into the workplace.

  • CEOs will need to use the power of analytics to see and shape the future instead of just responding to the past.

Recent research from Gartner adds insights to top-of-mind business issues facing CIOs. Gartner interviewed 2,000 CIOs worldwide as part of its 2011 CIO Agenda research. The top three focus areas were: increasing enterprise growth, reducing costs and attracting new customers, with a priority on improving business intelligence.

CIOs are highly motivated to tackle these issues, as they face increased pressure to deliver greater business value. CIO turnover is at an all-time high, and those who keep their jobs must prove their worth. According to Gartner analyst, John Roberts, “CIOs could have adverse compensation or bonuses by 2015 if they can’t deliver required levels of value to the business.”

Keep in mind, business relationships are changing between CIOs and other corporate executives. As a channel partner, it’s important to be aware of this evolving dynamic. Don’t be surprised to see CMOs and business unit leaders accompanying CIOs when you make presentations.

Solid Advice

In my January guest blog, Memo to VARs: Find and Embrace Line of Business Owners, I discussed the fact that business unit leaders are controlling a growing portion of what used to be the IT budget. It is in your best interest to help facilitate collaboration between CIOs and other executives, and to help business leaders understand the business value of investing in cloud-enabling technologies.

Identity-infused intelligent workload management (IWM) can play a key role in resolving many of the issues that CIOs face this year. Identity accelerates and unifies management while providing the tools for ensuring consistent security policy enforcement and compliance—regardless of user, resource or location.

I suggest you check out WorkloadIQ products from Novell. These identity-aware, policy-based services and solutions can help you deliver business services to customers as efficiently, cost-effectively and securely as possible.

Until next time, Dan.

Dan Dufault is global director of partner marketing at Novell. Guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship program. Read all of Dufault’s guest blogs here.

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