Using Business Intelligence to Dissolve Barriers in the C-Suite
by Christian Ofori-Boateng on May 3, 2021 11:00:00 AM
Typically, Business Intelligence (BI) has been aimed towards improving customer experience and boosting worker performance, which most people agree is crucial for deepening their relevance and expanding their presence in the marketplace. However, equally important is the use of BI to strengthen relationships between departments, especially between C-Suite executives and the rest of the workforce.
Business Intelligence Can Open Communications Across All Levels
Valuable and even groundbreaking discussions can take place over the executive conference room table, but often as these insights trickle down to the organizational frontline, enthusiasm and motivation can wane. The captivating energy generated by execs during the meeting can often get lost in translation because the context and intent isn’t fully understood leaving them dry for lack of relevance.
As we all know, communication is much more than mere words; the subtleties of tone, mood, and pacing can be lost through a verbatim retelling of conversations, a failing in communicating the nuances of the message. Fortunately, business intelligence offers the possibility to replicate more than facts, making it the logical avenue for clarifying communications at every level.
Solving the Challenges CEOs Face in 2021
With the commerce landscape dramatically redefined in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CEOs are realizing new challenges as they move forward in 2021. Industry experts have identified major issues CEOs are facing, including:
- Demands of Stakeholders - while important, stakeholders demand attention and information, often requesting immediate reports and data; such impromptu demands often overwhelm IT, particularly during hectic periods of activity
- Expectations of Growth - regardless of quarantines and spreading diseases, the business goal of profitability cannot be ignored, so the challenge to continue growing in downward markets doesn't stop
- Failure to Grasp BI - there is still a mental barrier for many C-Suite executives when it comes to the relevance and value of BI; it is incumbent upon the CEO to rectify this misunderstanding, resulting in clearer and relevant reporting of significant data and facts
- Insufficient BI Budget - it goes without saying that, when CEOs fail to grasp the significance of BI, there typically are insufficient funds allocated to this important division, further weakening its abilities (and adding to the myth that BI is not important to daily operations)
The CEO can readily eliminate the last two problems on this list by developing a sincere and authentic interdependence with Chief Information Officer (CIO). The CIO can be the solution to this communication problem, helping to dissolve the invisible barrier which often separates the C-Suite team from the rest of the workforce.
CIO Answers to CEO Challenges
By partnering with the CIO, the CEO can get up to speed concerning the value and relevance of BI. There are three avenues in particular where the CIO can demonstrate the importance of and need for BI:
Accelerate Digital Businesses
One of the areas where CEOs are now paying close attention since the pandemic is in accelerating the process of digital transformation. CIOs should not perform this task haphazardly but instead should plan for a smooth and logical increase in various digital initiatives, including digital payments, e-commerce, and e-service. CIOs are best positioned to uncover technology gaps that need to be filled; this results in a smooth but certain acceleration of the digital transformation process.
Agile Learning Resources
An investment in agile learning resources is money well-placed, as the returns realized from continuing education are quite high. Not only does your workforce intelligence and skill set increase, often exponentially, but employee benefits like this go far in deepening the tie of loyalty that workers can build with a supportive operation with growth opportunities. Both BI reporting and online training have proven to be superior methods for bringing real and relevant learning to your maturing team.
Rebuilding and Redesigning
One of the opportunities unveiled by the pandemic's blow to the economy and commerce is the time to stop and review current business plans and goals in light of these new conditions and changes. While the decision to rebuild or redesign certain aspects of the operation remains with the CEO, the CIO can be extremely relevant in aiding in the process of change, by developing the appropriate IT strategy which meets and supports the new vision.
One area where the pandemic struck particularly hard was in the eliminating of much of the global workforce. The makes keeping, retaining and developing the remaining workforce especially important to the future of the enterprise as well as to contribute to their recovery of the economy. CIOs can help support and nurture the workforce, in part by introducing and encouraging agile learning skills which allow the team to better adapt to shifting conditions and situations. The CIO can also be a central support hub for other executive team members, such as:
- CFO - aid in cash flow issues by assessing and timing technology spends
- CHRO - assist in developing a digitally-adept workforce
- CMO - be able to implement tech-sourced marketing campaigns
- COO - bring new technologies to the table to boost productivity
CIOs as Innovators and Facilitators
This is also the perfect opportunity for CIOs to elevate their own relevance and value within the organization. Everyone already looks to CIOs as expert facilitators, able to deliver timely and valuable reports and information which at times can change the entire direction or focus of an operation. However, with the expansion of and growing demand for digital transformation, now is the time for CIOs to explore how digital management (collection, organization, and analysis) and BI can launch new innovations for digital marketing, workforce sustainability, and expanding presence in the marketplace in two ways: growing market shares of existing products and/or services, or the introduction of new products and/or services.
CEOs will be turning more often to CIOs for their perspective and input into most areas of business operations. CIOs are proving to be vital and essential workers for your company, thanks to their ability to digitally transform the enterprise landscape by:
- Agile Learning and BI Support and Training
- Assisting Key C-Suite Executives
- Repairing Gaps in Technology
For any business looking to stay ahead of the pack in 2021 and going forward, the CEO is well-advised to partner closely with the CIO to develop and maintain a digitally-robust enterprise; indeed, the CIO may be the key to transforming the CEO's goals for its C-Suite into a functioning reality.
ChristianSteven Software can help the people in your business connect with greater clarity using report distribution solutions, browser-based data analytics, dashboards, and automation of business processes for increased accuracy and time conservation. If you're not automating, your business is falling behind in terms of production and revenue potential.
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