Splunk’s Mann: CIOs Should Consider Bold, Disruptive Investments
… turn that around to introduce them to more innovative thinkers and help them drive innovation in their strategy, I do so. That is much more exciting to me than seeing some of the traditional old school players just doing the same job they’ve been doing for 20- 30 years.
CF: What would you say is the least understood issue that CIOs have that the partner community can address?
AM: I think across the board, it’s about the human issues. In my presentation, I’ll talk about the transformational CIO, their priorities and so forth. There’s obviously the high level of the transformation they need to do. And a lot of that is around customer focus, and “Customer 360.” It’s about delivering fast, failing fast, being agile, adopting to technologies as well – data analytics, machine learning, cloud delivery, cybersecurity – all this stuff. The technology is sort of easy, though. It’s the people that are hard. And that’s always been true in our industry, I believe. And so, what I see as the biggest challenge for transformative CIOs today is much more about addressing organizational issues, shifting from old structures to new approaches to technology acquisition.
CF: What kind of technology acquisition?
AM: Things like cloud, but as a business model, or cost-management model, rather than the technology per se. The new mode of work, especially among millennials, is around collaborative modes of work, which is less competitive internally with people working together and collaborating to achieve common goals. Managing the organization, dealing with culture change and with the shift to digitalization — this is as much a human challenge as a technology channel challenge.
CF: Do you see CIOs making the technology acquisition decisions around these modernizations or transformations before they deal with those organizational issues, or vice versa?
AM: It depends on the CIO; of course, it can go either way. The way that I see is most successful is when people deal with the technology and the people simultaneously. And that sounds like a glib answer — do it all, right? But what I mean by that is, if you start with the technology, then you create culture problems. Technology, to a certain extent, can drive culture change. If you bring in an automation tool, for example, you can help your people to understand that what is important to you is going faster, and having repeatable results. And you can start to get people to adapt with technology. But for the most part, technology, change in isolation, creates a culture problem. People push back; they don’t want to do new things. A lot of organizational employees are not necessarily great at change, which is why they need a leader as a transformational CIO.
CF: In that regard, do you find or recommend CIOs bring their IT teams into the technology, procurement or assessment process before making those decisions?
AM: Absolutely. In my book, The Innovative CIO, I quoted Henry Ford, though it’s not clear that he really said it, but the saying was that if …