Marc Dowd
Marc Dowd (Principal, European Client Advisory)

As part of our preparation for the IDC CIO summit in October 2021, we are running Peer Connection sessions for our European CIO community throughout this year. On each call, we provide relevant IDC research and guidance to help inform the conversation and provoke some debate. The insights that were shared by our community last year were quite outstanding and we got some great feedback from attendees. So, if you’re a CIO or IT Director, and would like to learn from your peers, and share your own experiences or thoughts on any of the subjects that we are discussing, please make sure you are registered for the network by joining our LinkedIn group.

The upcoming sessions for the first quarter of 2021 are as follows.

4th Feb – Goal setting and planning for the year of uncertainty.

2021 promises to be one of the most unpredictable years we have faced. Covid-19, Brexit and political uncertainty throughout Europe are all significant factors on our businesses and organisations. In this time of change, we are nevertheless tasked with planning our priorities and activities for the year ahead and of course we have our own personal objectives that we set ourselves.

In this session, we will examine the planning horizons that we are all working to and discuss how confident we can be in our forecasting this year, not only for our organisational plans but also for ourselves.

  • What significant risks are you planning for?
  • Are you already back to business as usual?  If not, when do you think that will happen?
  • Is there a danger we might delay important long-term planning?
  • How much can we expect of our teams in 2021?

18th Feb – What is next after video calls: Measurement and management or collaboration and culture change.

Remote working has become a fact of life for almost every organisation in the past twelve months.  IDC research shows that we expect 32% of European workers to continue to work remotely even after the end of the pandemic. Should we adapt our collaboration, management and measurement processes to support this new way of working?

In this session we will discuss the challenges of applying our existing organisations structures to a largely remote workforce and ask how we can effectively modify our technology, processes and interactions for the benefit of the organisation and employees.

  • What does collaboration mean beyond video?
  • What metrics are truly valuable, and non-harmful, in measuring team productivity?
  • Is it possible to use this situation to improve our work culture?

4th March – Customer Experience: Technology is increasingly driving CX – is that a challenge for you as the CIO?

In the CX economy, great products and services are no longer enough. The entire experience must be great. At some point, excellent CX will be taken as a fundamental expectation. To earn customer affinity and loyalty, we will need to use smart technology to help our customers transform themselves for the better – or at least that is what some companies believe.

We are seeing it more and more: Insurance companies incentivize tracking modules in cars that can make people better drivers; banks have personal financial management applications to help people make better financial decisions, smart meters (and gamification) sparks people to use less energy, B2C shoe makers have athletic clubs that encourage exercise, automation and ride sharing will likely change automobile ownership patterns.

In this session we will take stock of where our peers actually are, and what we are doing to drive our connections to customers. We can look at:

  •  The CX state of things:
    – Customer-first enterprises finally coming into their own
    – The CX paradigm shift (from Razzle dazzle to being there)
    – Trends: Increased digital sales, commerce everywhere, home-based contact centers, etc.
  • We should look at the technology we are deploying:

– Data, APIs, and the cutting edge CX model
– The movement of segments à personas à segment of one à real-time contextual

– How to use “Next best action”

18th March – Industry ecosystems: what you need to know and how your peers are using them.

No organisation is an island.  The rise of the API economy and increased interoperability across value chains have touched most industries. IDC sees the amount of data being produced by European enterprises growing by X by 2025, and as we know data becomes more valuable when it is shared and linked with relevant additional data sets. This has encouraged the proliferation of ecosystems where data, code and platforms are shared for mutual benefit between partners.

In this session we will discuss the relevance of ecosystems to modern enterprises. We will share some examples of innovative ecosystem platforms and explore

  • What does good look like?
  • What are some examples of concrete business benefits?
  • Is there an appetite in your enterprise to share “corporate assets” in this way?
  • Are there compelling reasons to remain outside an industry ecosystem?

1st April – Reskilling: Keeping your Tech Talent Ready for the Future Enterprise

The fast pace of technology change means that some skills are becoming redundant very quickly. IDC research shows that European CIOs are looking to reskill their existing workers in preference to firing and hiring.  How do you know when to reskill and what new capabilities will be valuable to your organisation?

In this session we will discuss our reskilling and hiring strategies.  We will look at the drivers, prevalence and profile of skills that the group believes will become redundant, and the techniques we can use to keep our capabilities at the right level.

Topics of conversation will be

  • Reskilling and training, and how to apply it
  • Determining the future skills needed by the organisation
  • Low-hanging fruit:  which capabilities are more amenable to re-skilling (and which are not)
  • Reskilling vs Offshoring
  • Looking for tech skills in new places

April 15th The business case for embedding intelligence into business execution

Complexity in our businesses, expanding amounts of data and sharpening customer expectations are producing a perfect storm battering business operations in many companies. IDC research shows that data in operations is increasing by a factor of 2-9 in the coming years.

We see that organisations have started down the path of simple task and workflow automation. Embedding intelligence through AI and ML is what the leaders are doing.

In this session we will look at:

  • Concept of Intelligent Business Execution and how that fits your business.
  • Discuss European organizations’ plans for investment into Intelligent Business Execution beyond automation.
  • Perceptions, benefits, and challenges that our peers are getting or foresee versus the risks involved.
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