#CIO100EA: CEOs won’t tolerate a CIO saying: “We have not thought about this before”

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Nikki Summers, Regional Director Sage East Africa.

Aware of potential changes required in business is not enough. One instead has to be ready for changes and embrace changes when they occur averred Ms Nikki Summers, Regional Director Sage East Africa during the recent CIO 100 Symposium and Awards held in Naivasha, Kenya.

“Don’t get Kodak-ed!” quipped Summers stressing: “Change is predictable.” Guided with this progressive position, she noted that forward thinking CEOs won’t tolerate a CIO saying “I have not thought about this before”.

In her keynote address that revolved around everything is changing around us,” Summers insights, which in the overall resonated with the delegates comprising CIOs, Senior IT Business Executives and CEOs seemed to have laid more emphasis that CIOs role is in today’s corporate entities becoming more demanding and at the same time intricate.

As technology innovations go mainstream at an ever faster pace, changing every aspect of our life, business executives expect the same wonders from their IT department.

“Limitations of legacy applications, restrictions to access and analyze data, or poor integration of systems and workflows, are no longer acceptable. CIOs are expected to remove barriers and enable innovation, without limits,”

Nikki Summers, Regional Director Sage East Africa.

“Limitations of legacy applications, restrictions to access and analyze data, or poor integration of systems and workflows, are no longer acceptable. CIOs are expected to remove barriers and enable innovation, without limits,” Summers added.

Ms Summers further added that successful CIOs are in-house futurists, measured by their ability to anticipate and enable innovation. CIOs, will bear the responsibility of making the critical technology decisions that can make or break your business.

She also said that today’s big technology decisions are in CIO hands – Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Social and Consumerization, CIOs job will spark the major business shifts demanded in the digital economy by embracing Industry 4.0 principles of combining the cyber and physical elements of the business.

It is therefore important that change in your business is a certainty. Your choice of an enterprise platform must focus on its ability to support the future of your business.

“The challenge you will face is to adopt an enterprise platform that can support innovation at a rapid pace moving forward. Too many projects are falling short early, because of the realization that existing systems cannot support them, or it would be too costly, too complicated to change them. Yet you don’t have to be visionary to anticipate change. Change is predictable. The right technology decisions keep your organization adaptable, agile and always ready to seize new opportunities,” she said.

Citing examples Ms. Summers said that already, about 10 percent of manufacturing work is performed by robots. According to the Boston Consulting Group, it will raise to 25% by 2025. What it means is that the systems you are investing in today must be ready for more automation.

“Self-optimizing production, predictive maintenance, and automated inventory management are amongst the emerging technologies that you will need to integrate with your enterprise management platform to stay in the game,” she concluded.

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