Eye on Phoenix: CIO Leadership: Reimagining the Future State Business with the CEO and the C-suite

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Business disruption is widespread and persistent. According to an Accenture study, nearly three-quarters (72%) of industry sectors experienced an increase in disruption over the past eight years, leaving $41 trillion in enterprise value exposed to disruption today.

Since most organizations are vulnerable to disruption, it’s imperative that CIOs and technology executives partner closely with the CEO and the C-suite to identify and execute on opportunities to disrupt their organizations.

“CIOs should partner with the CEO and other C-suite members to develop strategy on new business models and also lead the execution, as technology is driving most of the business operations and processes,” said Nilesh Joshi, VP and Head of IT at Global Nephrology Solutions and RCO Analytics LLC, Healthcare Management and Analytics companies, based in Arizona, impacting 300,000+ kidney disease patients and focused at enhancing the quality of care and improving population health.

“The CIO is in a unique position to bring ‘Technology’ as a competitive advantage to achieving strategic goals and delivering projects,” said Joshi, an Advisory Board Member for HMG Strategy’s upcoming 2020 Phoenix CIO Executive Leadership Summit taking place on February 13 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas.

For example,in the healthcare industry, CMS – the largest government backed payor for Medicare Service — is launching initiatives and programs to achieve its triple aim of improving quality of care, reducing the cost of care and improving patient satisfaction. CMS recently announced new care guidelines and reimbursement models for Nephrologists and Dialysis Centers treating patients with kidney diseases.

“These are expected to have a profound impact on patient care, physician reimbursements and value-based clinical services,” said Joshi. “As the Head of Technology and Analytics at Global Nephrology Solutions, I am partnering with the physician leaders across U.S. markets to develop strategy models incorporating Data Analytics and Population Care Management. My team brings the power of Business Intelligence, AI and Predictive Modelling, which combined with clinical expertise and risk analysis will help us navigate the evolving landscape within healthcare.”

Talking the Talk

In order to communicate effectively with the CEO and the C-suite, CIOs and technology executives must speak in business terms that executives are most familiar with.

“Walking into a leadership meeting, I don’t talk to them (business leaders) about technology or uptime. I talk to them about the resulting business benefits that we have enabled through technology and how that really is going to help drive top line or bottom line improvements,” said Max Chan, CIO at Avnet who is a chairperson and a speaker at the Phoenix summit.

“In order for me to be able to do that, I need to be able to clearly articulate and internalize the understanding of our strategy, the financials, what some of our key customers are focusing on, our relationships with our suppliers as well as the business challenges that we’re facing, along with the levers we can pull to increase revenue or reduce operating expense,” said Chan. “Once you are able to be part of that conversation and not just waiting for your turn to give an IT update, it will then be easier for CIOs to participate and contribute to these discussions.”

In order to deliver fresh insights on new business opportunities, CIOs and technology executives must be “immersed” in the business and technology domains, said Joshi. “In addition, we need to be aware of the innovations happening in other industries,” said Joshi. To help with that, CIOs need to be well-connected on the trends. They should attend diverse forums beyond technology events such as industry-focused conferences, trade shows, and connect with supply chain vendors, Joshi noted.

“There are abundant opportunities which can bring innovation and change to your business or even disrupt the entire industry,” Joshi added.

As Chan notes, it’s also helpful for CIOs to spend time with line of business P&L owners to understand what their challenges are and then offer technology solutions to help business leaders to address those issues and enable the business to achieve their short and long-term goals.

Fostering a Culture of Innovation

To help the business disrupt itself, CIOs and technology executives also need to foster a culture of innovation across the organization. A good starting point for CIOs is by starting small with an ideation program where all members of the IT organization are encouraged to come up with an idea that would be able to address a particular domain, such as workforce productivity or to improve customer retention, said Chan.

At Avnet, “We have rewards at the end of that where we take a short list of ideas to fund and implement. That was a few years ago and what we have found is that this grassroots approach will start to enourage people to come up with new recommendations and suggestions.”

CIOs need to become a ‘driver’ of innovations that are beneficial at the organizational level, said Joshi. For instance, he notes how CIOs can establish new business capabilities that offer competitive advantages to drive revenue growth. For example, at Global Nephrology Solutions, Joshi is exploring Robotic Process Automation along with OCR and AI to bring efficiencies in Revenue Cycle Management and improving the top line revenues.

“At other times, CIOs are the ‘change instigator’ or educator to operationalize the innovation and reap the benefits,” said Joshi. “For example, when the innovation is coming from other groups, the CIOs must partner with business leaders on supporting the ideas, providing resources, initiating a proof-of-concept, and, most importantly, accommodating if the innovation does not work out.”

To learn more about other topics that will be explored at the 2020 Phoenix CIO Executive Leadership Summit.

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