Webinar Takeaways: How to Become a Hero or Heroine CIO

 In All Things Productivity, Blog

Wrong UsersOn Wednesday, we held a very educational webinar – ‘Become a Hero to Your End Users’. This webinar delved into the issues top CIOs and IT executives face in application selection and roll-out. With the availability of a myriad of best-of-breed apps, CIO’s are faced with quite the decision. Factor in the increasing pressure CIO’s are under to deliver working solutions and the ever increasing time-sensitivity of today’s business world, then the full scale of the CIO’s task becomes clear. To offer some key insight into the successful application selection and roll-out process we brought together two formidable industry professionals with a wealth of experience in this area.

Expert Panel

Our own CEO Alex Gorbansky sat down with David Goldberg, who most recently worked as Vice President of Global Technology at Wasserman Media Group. Throughout his career Alex has focused on cloud-based software and emerging server technologies which saw him occupy a variety of different roles including product management, strategy, marketing, and sales. With over two decades of leadership experience, David Goldberg has worked with Quixote Studios, MullinTBG Insurance Agency Services, Filmtrack, Heavenspot, and Genex with a remit that included technology planning and implementation, operational process improvements, and facilities growth.

Become a Hero

The question of how to become a hero CIO was the first to be addressed by our panel. The advice forthcoming was to focus on knowing both your job and your customer. Once the CIO’s priorities are in order and successful applications are implemented then the hero worship will follow. To fully understand the task at hand the successful CIO must excel in organizational leadership, change management leadership, and technology leadership. To get to know their customer, CIO’s must know what their own company delivers, know how their own company operates, know how potential clients define success, and work to engage and build relationships.

Successful Application Implementation

Our panel also examined the application implementation process. To begin with CIOs that want to be successful must define their particular need with the user community. The next step is to pilot a number of possible solutions to see first hand their effectiveness. For an application to succeed it will need considerable executive buy in. If a CIO, or top IT executive, is confident they have selected the right option, they can achieve this buy in by making an effective presentation to company executives. CIO’s who proceed without executive buy in can place themselves on a less than stable footing. With executive support secured and a final decision made on application selection, the CIO’s must then initiate the roll-out process and instigate regular follow-up meetings and reporting to accurately track the progress of the chosen solution. Effective communication between the CIO and the respective teams involved is pivotal.

Best Practices to Run a Successful Pilot

Perhaps the most important step in successful application implementation is the pilot process. Our experts outlined the phases of a successful pilot. CIOs must identify key pilot users,stage roll-out, measure utilization and impact, instigate a use it or lose it policy, and make white glove service a non-negotiable requirement. With a dogmatic adherence to these best practices, CIOs can give themselves the best chance of success. To identify the key pilot users, CIOs should choose 10-15 business users who understand technology and business workflow. These users will be the CIOs evangelists going forward. To measure the success of the pilot, there should be a utilization report conducted on who is using and who is not using the application. The impact of the service must be quantified under key metrics like time saved or new revenue generated. Pilot timelines should be clearly stated and not last any longer than 45 days. Our webinar finished with a word of warning from our panel who pointed out that the service offered by a vendor during the pilot phase will not improve in future. To ensure successful application adoption, the CIO must not settle for anything less than white glove service.

Click here to view the webinar slides.

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