Which comes first, technology or process?

A key theme at this year’s CIO and IT Leaders Summits* was how well CIO’s are positioned to provide a catalyst for change within their organisation. Not only are they in touch with new trends and technologies, but sitting outside the various functions of the business gives the CIO a bird’s eye view of the way things are done.

It’s no secret to these individuals that technology and process go hand in hand. After all, how many IT projects get off the ground where process or process improvement isn’t a key factor? But which comes first, implementing the technology or addressing the process?

Some might think about this as a typical chicken and egg scenario, but it’s not. Not if you really think about it.

Understanding the process landscape of all units within an organisation is critical to the role of a CIO. Their advice is often sought after when process issues or bottlenecks are identified and in many instances they will be the ones, in consultation with process experts, recommending a solution to fix or improve these processes. Process issues and improvement opportunities need to be identified before applying new technology can be considered, therefore process should come first.

This begs the question, is the CIO’s job shifting from managing technology to managing business processes as well? At Promapp, we have a governance model we recommend to all our customers and at the top of the pyramid is the Chief Process Officer (CPO). In light of the above, there could be a compelling case for the CIO to also inherit the hat of the CPO. It isn’t a full time role, strong CPO’s simply believe in constant change and improvement of process, they believe in their people and empower them - process owners and experts - to become the change agents for the organisation.

What do you think? Are you, or your CIO, up for the challenge?

Promapp is a business process management tool that helps organisations understand the business processes that drive their organisations and deliver value for their customers. Promapp helps teams to identify areas of improvement, including where technology can be applied.

Watch this short video to see how Promapp can help CIOs fulfil the CPO aspect of their role…

*Events mentioned refer to the NZ CIO Summit and Business Insight Australia IT Leaders Summits.

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