• Insights from a next generation CIO

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As one of the three key people in an organization, the CIO is an agent for change.

CEOs have come to recognize the importance of IT. Therefore, gone are the days where CIOs are confined to an IT room. New generation CIOs must be change agents and visionaries. 

In a recent blog post, “The Voice of the Next Generation CIO,” Soeren Jensen, the vice president of Enterprise Management and Software at Schneider Electric™, provides insights on the ever-evolving role of CIOs with video highlights from a panel discussion which took place at the CIO Summit Event, “Driving an Agenda for Business Success,” organized in the Middle East by IDC. 

The most important metric: customer satisfaction
CIOs are more than responsible for ensuring continuous backend operations for their enterprises, but also making sure that their customers are happy. And this requires a change in the way ROI for IT is measured.

During the panel discussion, Dr. Arwa Y. Al-Aama, vice mayor for IT affairs at Jeddah Municipality said that the CIO has become among the “three key people in an organization, internally and externally who deal with both the inside and outside world.” Essentially the CIO for Jeddah Municipality, Dr. Al-Aama oversees the technological infrastructure, applications, network and communications, budgeting, and resource allocation.

As one of the most senior women working in the public sector in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Al-Aama has more than broken through the glass ceiling; she has also become an agent of change. At Jeddah Municipality, the balanced scorecard was flipped upside-down so that customer satisfaction became the most important metric for success, as opposed to financial value on ROI.

Keeping up with technology is just part of a CIO’s job. Now they are under pressure to drive innovation as well, which requires listening to “internal customers” and delivering IT services that “empower them to change the world,” said Dr. Al-Aama, referencing the important role technology played during the Arab Spring.

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