Innovation is the buzzword du jour, but it’s not so easy to nail down exactly how the CIO can position himself to lead the charge. We asked Mohamed Cassoojee, country manager of Software AG, to share some of his thoughts.

What kinds of innovations should IT be leading?

Software AG New Building Launch, Bryanston-18Technology trends are intersecting with business trends. One of the top trends for CEOs is around customer intimacy, and there is a significant technology component that can bring this to life.

Business analytics is another innovation that the CIO can drive. The correct technology allows for monitoring and wise decision making around the future of the business, mitigating possible risk.

Mobile computing has also revolutionised IT, driving solutions to address the three top mobile trends: BYOD (bring your own device); mobile device management; and mobile/back-end integration.

The CIO can help the organisation to understand the impact and benefits of computing. Cloud is becoming a megatrend that will have the highest impact on the application eco system.

How can the CIO rally the organisation behind IT-led innovation?

Businesses are undergoing huge disruptions and the root cause of these disruptions come are the changes and adoptions of technology. CIOs are best placed to understand these technological changes and the impact they can have on business. CIOs need to positions themselves as the evangelists in the business and lead the discussion

How can the CIO make IT dynamic and exciting?

IT touches every facet of our lives – from chips in running shoes and bands that we use in exercise, to nanobots that can patrol our bloodstream to eradicate cancer cells.

The main aim of IT is to bring satisfaction and benefits to the end customer: with the right technology, we make people’s lives better.

I always use the following example: In insurance, IT supports the claims process, but what we should be thinking of is the widow who has just lost her spouse, or a person that is both distraught and confused. His phone number should be recognised when he calls in, he should be given a summary of his policy, and other suppliers – for instance, a funeral company – should be able to deal with the insurance company directly.

CIOs need to become familiar with the human aspects of business, and the improvements that technology can bring which appeal to the emotional aspects of our nature. CIOs should try to relate technology to life.

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