Splunk’s Mann: CIOs Should Consider Bold, Disruptive Investments
… he had asked his customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse. If a CEO or an IT leader asks a team what they want, they might just say they want a faster horse. They want to do the job they’re currently doing but do it better and faster. And that’s perfectly legitimate. But by the same token, a transformational CIO needs to have a vision of their own. And he or she needs to be able to lead their people into change, even though those people didn’t necessarily see why that change was necessary.
CF: What about when that change involves eliminating any number of jobs in an IT organization. What’s the best approach to dealing with that?
AM: There are always going to be people who will not be able to come along with the change. And that’s one of the hardest jobs I think any leader has, is restructuring their organization. And in some cases, removing the people who can’t help them succeed. I believe there’s a huge value that, for lack of a better word, legacy or traditional IT people have, when you go through these changes. If you can bring them along, the long-term workers have deep, deep insight into your business, into the processes into the people and the politics of departments. They are incredibly valuable. That involves working with them, retraining, and in a lot of cases, showing them the benefit of these changes.
CF: From a technology acquisition perspective, what are some of the most difficult decisions CIOs have to make?
Mann: One of the biggest and most difficult decisions that I think transformational CIOs make is radical change. It’s relatively easy for small companies to pivot and fundamentally rewrite their rules of engagement, their corporate missions, their visions, what audience they’re going after or even the product they’re trying to sell. And yet, when we see traditional companies that failed to pivot, the impact is potentially even greater. The classic stories about Blockbuster and Kodak and companies that failed to pivot, they were afraid to radically reinvent even a part of their business. And so, I think one of the biggest challenges that they face is biting the bullet when they need radical innovation — when incremental innovation will not cut it.
CF: What roll can integrators and the partner community play in helping them go through that transition?
AM: Channel partners can be absolutely radical in guiding businesses through reinvention and innovation. A big part of that is …