By Bjoern Goerke, CIO, SAP AG
The drastic changes in the IT industry over the last five years are forcing us to come up with new, innovative ways to create business opportunities. In particular, CIOs are becoming more involved in what was once the province of only the CFOs.
"Capital Markets should look at Big Data as a great opportunity to extensively expand and grow their ability to fulfill new needs"CIOs are expected to be on top of changes in capital markets, reduce the complexity and cost of managing infrastructure, and provide a new level of customized service through big data analytics. These help in company finances, including timely and accurate quarterly accounting. Disruptive innovation is a profound concept that defines a new era of technology that completely replaces the existing order. Today, Cloud, Big Data, and mobile technologies are driving us to rethink the future and embrace change. It is vital that companies stay ahead of them in order to lead businesses towards change. In an era when innovation dictates the future, CIOs need to rethink how they balance their time, priorities, and resources. on the one hand, we still consider our priority to ensure the security of IT systems. But on the other hand, we have never had a better opportunity to be more strategically close to capital markets and to have an impact on the company’s finances and vision as we have now. One of the most challenging tasks of a multinational company is to get a realistic picture of the company’s risks and xposures. In the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse, accurate portrayal of risk became of paramount importance not only to banks but also other large companies spread across geographies. They had to manage their internal treasuries; they had to optimize how they were making use of commercial paper; and come up with strategies that limited various forms of exposure. Just as an example, let’s talk about how treasury management software can be of great help to large transcontinental operations. While it is no cure for systemic failures and the credit crisis that brought Wall Street to its knees, treasury applications are being used today by large multinationals to more effectively manage cash and payment processes, ensure liquidity, and evaluate and manage their foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risks. Many CIOs have stepped in to financial and reporting, harnessing the latest innovation in data analytics. Today innovation is top of mind for all CIOs.
The CIO’s New RoleThe role of the CIO in Capital Markets has shifted with the growth of these groundbreaking technologies. CIOs are no longer just IT supervisors. They are thought leaders, innovators, and social personae. It’s also critical to establish effective peer relationships with business executives to realize the full potential of the IT function.
CIOs in today’s Capital Markets are also in charge of managing and optimizing IT investments. To do so effectively, we have to team up with CFOs. Supporting the company’s priorities along with CFOs, CIOs won’t find themselves under intense regulatory and cost pressures in this growing technology era any longer.Today, my job is to focus more on innovation than ever before. The grand name transformation from Chief Information Officer to Chief Innovation Officer is dictated by the changing tech world – and we hope the new emphasis on innovation, rather than simply information, will help us stay one step ahead of the competition.