While the official title is chief information officer (CIO), this role is about so much more than just managing “information.” It’s about innovation, leading through disruption, and finding creative ways to use technology to bring about real, positive change. And for retail CIOs, they do it all in the middle of a constantly changing consumer landscape. While it’s clear they have plenty on their minds, many CIOs are taking this opportunity to use their influence to help create a better future for their companies.
My guests on this episode are Saif Rivers, vice president and retail industry leader at IBM, and Joe Wilson, CTO, North America at Workday. You can download the joint Workday/IBM paper that we mention in the episode here: “Forward-Looking Technology for Retail CIOs.”
Here are highlights of our conversation, edited for clarity. Be sure to follow us wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, and remember you can find our entire podcast catalog here.
“CIOs have had to react to a very different expectation in terms of the speed of change. I think many of our clients are now operating in six-month horizons. Some even shorter, just due to the reality of change that is coming their way. It's that nimbleness, that agility, that desire to do more and more that is really powering our very best customers forward.” — Saif Rivers
“Improving organizations, they test their theories, and they document their learnings. So while the cost of maintaining a lessons-learned function might appear high, I think the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it actually still rings true today. And that is going to be a differentiator going forward.” — Joe Wilson
“We've seen that transition from an individual who was very focused towards the back-office operations into someone who's much more front-office, business-aligned. I see the need and the desire for a deeply agile creative thinker, someone who's human-centric and is able to flex with the demands of the client, the business, and the workforce. When you bring those three things together, I think that's where you see the heart of the CIO.” — Saif Rivers