4 Subscription Economy IT Innovation Strategies from Accenture

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Taking action as a new Subscription CIO or changing track as a veteran is a must. But how will you fare if history is working against you? The 2014 survey from global IT service provider Harvey Nash reports that 77 percent of CIOs believe the potential for IT innovation is strong in their industry. But only 2 percent were confident that their organizations could realize their full innovation potential. These figures reveal an even a wider gap on the same issue reported in 2013.
The project data backs up their views. Infrastructure and technology projects delivered by CIOs had the highest success rate, topping out at 36 per cent. Nothing to scream about, you say? The more innovative deployments such as digital marketing systems and big data implementations made the bottom of the list with just a 11 percent success rate.

“So what are the characteristics and competencies that define digital-age CIOs?” Accenture’s managing director of IT Strategy and Transformation Diana Bersohn asks. “How does one pursue innovation, deliver legacy performance and build agility into the organization all at the same time?”

Accenture recommends four actionable areas for CIOs:

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Know that the demand for digital affects the business.

  • Ground yourself in the company’s strategy, challenges, financials and future business realities and trends.
  • Learn how your company’s partners and competitors use technology to drive digital agendas.
  • Understand the perception of the IT organization across the enterprise to gather facts to develop a digital plan to act on.

Accenture research shows that more than 75 percent of business and technology leaders say industry boundaries will blur as platforms continue to emerge and entrench. Industry instead of technology companies will likely lead the next generation of platforms.

Grab the chance to become the company’s innovation architect.

  • Learn from senior leaders the company’s strategy and imperatives, value drivers, key customers and technology expectations. Use those insights to drive a short-term plan to demonstrate the IT group’s ability to lead and deliver quick wins.
  • Use those quick wins to demonstrate value and build support for larger, bolder initiatives.
  • Discuss strategies and outcomes with business peers to reveal that IT can deliver with swift decisions and execution.

Tap into your network.

  • Contact the most tech-savvy, senior leaders across the enterprise no matter their title, role or location to identify natural allies and those who need additional persuasion.
  • Prove you can talk beyond costs and processes. Be a visionary, change agent, innovator and capability builder.
  • Listen astutely and convey complex digital concepts with passion. Focus on stretch goals that don’t over commit the IT group.

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Build a credible IT team that supports your agenda

  • Include a mix of IT and savvy business leaders who can help drive the digital agenda, and dedicated technologists who can help “keep the lights on.”
  • Build a team that will embrace agility, bring fresh perspectives and reward them for sensible experimentation regardless of the outcome. Invest in new career tracks and technology skills to help create an IT culture that attracts the type of talent that’s in short supply.

Lastly, consider, test and deploy the strategies that others have used to drive their own success. Transform new and traditional roadblocks into challenges that need solutions. Most of all, view your potential innovation competitors as your allies. Together, you will create a compelling strategy to serve and benefit your most important customers inside and outside of your company.

Learn from your peers. Network your heart out.

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