I’m wondering if I should feel threatened. You see, my primary responsibility here at Peak 10 is driving business growth and market share. Sales, marketing, channels and the customer experience fall under my purview.
Being focused on growth, I’m supposed to ask questions such as, how do we enable Peak 10’s sales force to be more responsive and informed? How can we expedite product and service delivery? What will help us do a better job at helping our customers succeed and building stronger relationships with them? Asking questions is the easy part; coming up with real solutions – well, that’s what keeps me up at night.
The thing is, Peak 10’s executive vice president of technology and operations – our CIO, if you will – is known for climbing out of his sandbox and asking the same questions. So is our systems and process improvement vice president, the guy tasked with internal systems, tools and processes. Don’t they have enough to do just keeping the lights on?
Of course, I am not threatened by any of this. Everyone at Peak 10 is expected to ask these types of questions all the time; it’s a cultural thing with us.
Apparently, however, this is a point of contention at many companies where CIOs and IT executives are not getting involved enough in the business aspects of their companies, in how to drive revenues that fuel growth, in how to attract and delight customers.
More than ever, the business of IT is the business itself, a transition from only infrastructure and operations that some IT executives are finding difficult to make. There is a great deal of scholarly and industry discussion going on today about the urgency for IT to break out of its comfort zone and abandon defensive posturing.
Back to our two intrepid Peak 10 IT execs…they are in front of customers all the time. With the speed of IT and business transformation being what it is today – in every business, not just ours – directly interacting with customers is essential. Only by hearing first-hand about the business risks they’re taking and opportunities they’re going after can we invest in the IT resources and tools to help our customers succeed … ideally before they know they will need them. That takes a team effort.
The CIO for one of our newer customers, a manufacturing company, has no illusions about the role his IT team plays in supporting his company’s business growth. He shared with us – and committed us to – his mantra. Three things: keep the lights on; do everything you can to take care of users and customers; everything else, if there’s time to spare.
Thanks to the intrepid ones for helping make my job more impactful: Jeff Biggs, executive VP, and Mark Wensell, VP, and every one of our dedicated employees.