CIOs stuck in the middle between business units

Competing interests create tension and also opportunity

One unit in your company is managing its business with the CRM system, another may be using social media applications, and meanwhile the CFO wants everything done through the ERP. The CEO expects all the systems to arrive at a universal truth, and that leaves the CIO stuck in the middle, writes Michael Vizard at CIO Insight.

The competing interests among business units put CIOs in a tough spot. It's hard to get at one version of the truth when everyone is drawing from different sources. This can be particularly troublesome in industries with a great deal of business-to-consumer activity, where there is a heavy reliance on real-time information and the systems that provide it.

"The simple fact is that a lot of the division that exists in many organizations winds up being reflected in the IT systems that support business units that are either not quite as closely aligned as they might be, or are hostile to each other because the underlying business model is fundamentally flawed," he writes.

But there might be a silver lining: The tension may present an opportunity to get the entire enterprise on board with much-needed application integration and data management, Vizard writes. New analytics and in-memory processing technologies hold out the promise of unifying the disparate systems and putting CIOs back in charge. An analytics system can bring all of a company's raw data together in one place, serving as the system of record, with other applications accessing it.

For more:
- see Michael Vizard's article at CIO Insight

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