Subscription IT departments have every opportunity and imperative to emerge as innovators within their company, as well as the much larger ecosystem of industry and technology partners, solutions and platforms. Here are three tips from DocuSign’s CIO to help you stay on top of the latest IT trends and news.
Eric Johnson became DocuSign’s CIO in late 2014 after 12 years at Informatica in senior technical roles including that company’s CIO. Johnson began his career with Deloitte Consulting where he specialized in supply chain and manufacturing solutions across high tech, consumer, oil and gas, and other industries.
Everyone should acquire their own sense of paranoia and expose themselves to “the winds of change,” he wrote in an article for CIO Story.
Johnson says CIOs must never assume they know the latest and greatest about anything. “The world of technology is changing faster today than at any time in history,” he says. “What is new now could very well be archaic in thirty seconds.”
He deploys three methods to stay ahead of IT news and business trends:
In addition to knowledge, Johnson says to hire people smarter than yourself, provide a strategic vision, coach and support your team and often act as though you are working for them. Humility goes a long way, he says.
How does Eric Johnson evaluate technology? He categorizes the critical nature of the business function to determine if a bleeding-edge solution or one with a track record for success is appropriate.
Subscription finance requires established technology, since it enables critical business functions. Social solutions can be less stable since they’re less likely to cripple operations if something goes wrong.
Looking forward, Johnson says, traditional CIOs must advance to cloud and digital technologies and evolve to a business- and subscriber-centric model:
“As far as the future is concerned, I believe the future of the CIO is bright. As technology continues to innovate and uncover new ways to drive businesses forward, the need for an executive that can champion and leverage technology to help solve business challenges and find the always-desirable competitive advantage will become ever invaluable.”