3 Ways To Enhance Supply Chain Management With Mobile Data Reporting

Narinder Dhillon

As we all know, supply chain management (SCM) is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer.  Over the last few years, we have seen a rise in using mobile devices to provide powerful business intelligence (BI) information to workers of organizations and to the end consumer.  Supply chain management can definitely benefit from joining BI with mobile devices.

Thanks to the advancements of online-only stores like Amazon, eBay, and DealsDirect, retailers now face more challenges than ever to satisfy customer needs. Retailers are expected to get shipments to customers in lightning fast speeds, or always have a full stock of the hottest products on the shelves.

In the past, a strong supply chain management system would suffice customer needs. Now, in our “I want it now” mindset, supply chain management must be stepped up a notch.

In an article in CIO from IDG, Jennifer Schiff concisely explains the challenges of supply chain management:

“… Retailers need to know where things are at all times so they can redirect shipments, rebalance inventories and respond to new demands on the fly… And if there is a problem with their supply chain, and they can’t get products to stores and/or consumers, retailers (and their suppliers) risk losing customers.”

It’s time to get a firm grasp on your supply chain management process and avoid serious setbacks that may damage your retail business’ bottom line. As a retailer, adopting a mobile reporting tool helps enhance your supply chain management by reducing distribution and selling inefficiencies, managing inventory levels, and keeping a clear view of products during each stage. Plus, with this power right on your mobile device, you can access critical data away from your desktop for real-time actions.

Read on for three ways a mobile reporting tool can increase the effectiveness of your supply chain management.

1. Reduce distribution and selling inefficiencies

Let’s face it: Supply chain management is not what it used to be. The process has become more complex than ever.

Consumer demands have evolved into a more immediate buying process. In turn, retailers must adapt operations for easier online purchasing, quicker delivery speed and in-store pickup options. So, what if there was a way to quickly and easily communicate across all parties to eliminate supply chain inefficiencies?

With mobile reporting, all data is visualized in one place—not in multiple spreadsheets or systems. Executives across the supply chain receive a clear picture of critical data from different systems or data sources, all in the palm of their hand. Mobile reports can also be shared internally with the tap of a button, and you don’t have to hope the recipient has a Ph.D. in data interpretation to gain real insight from what you’re sending them. That makes decision-making easier, faster, and less of a headache.

2. Manage inventory levels

 Advancements in product purchase and delivery technologies have made “instant gratification” the new norm in terms of consumer expectations. When people buy something online or in stores, they want it immediately.

Mobile reporting dramatically reduces or even eliminates product shortages or production issues due to poor ordering or product allocation across channels. Mobile reporting tools that also offer universal desktop viewing allow employees, managers, and executives to access real-time data. The result: inventory levels that meet the quickest consumer demands.

Mobile analytics reporting makes using data from barcode scanners, digital price tags and radio-frequency identification (RFID) even easier, as store managers can track inventory on the floor via their smartphone.

3. Follow the process step-by-step

With mobile reporting, you’ll access data seamlessly, no matter where you or your products are. Easy report sharing up the chain of command means your executives also gain regular insight into the data relevant to your supply chain. That allows them to make better decisions and shift priorities and resources as needed.

Consider sharing reports around the following supply chain KPIs:

  • Delivery tracking
  • Electronic invoicing
  • Inventory reporting
  • Point of sale
  • Stock-out validation
  • Transport ordering

Get started on the road to smoother, more efficient supply chain management to satisfy your customers’ needs. Download a free trial of SAP Roambi and see what a mobile reporting tool can do for you.


Narinder Dhillon

About Narinder Dhillon

Narinder Dhillon is a Customer Engagement Executive (CEE) at SAP. He has overall responsibility for the daily management of assigned Cloud customer accounts, including account management strategies as well as engagement and expansion plans.  The focus of this role is twofold, to maximize the value that customers and SAP receive through adoption and use of the SAP Network, and to ensure that the customers deploy and utilize their entitled subscription software.  He is passionate about working with customers to achieve their goals, and has 15 + years of experience in customer engagement roles, in software and subscription based companies.

Three Ways Digital Transformation Is Disrupting The Metals Industry

Jennifer Scholze

The metals industry is at a crossroads. It faces decreasing global demand, trade flow disruptions, widening workforce skill gaps, and declining resource quality. These challenges have hurt profits and reduced capital investments. The metals industry is ripe for change – and digital transformation is leading the way.

Stefan Koch, global lead for metals in the mill products industry business unit at SAP, recently spoke about the future of the metals industry on the S.M.A.C. Talk Technology Podcast. Koch addressed the three major ways digitization will change the industry. Machine learning will simplify production processes and streamline operations. Virtual reality (VR) will enable virtual plant operations, creating new business models. Blockchain will enable verified material tracking for purchases like green (recycled) steel. Together, these technologies can disrupt everything from extraction to production to sales.

1. Machine learning simplifies production processes, predicts quality outcomes

“Smart machines” are not a new addition to the metals industry. The industry already relies on sensor data to monitor machine performance and maximize uptime. For most companies, however, that’s the current extent of this data utility.

“It’s still very often that you see this island of information,” says Stefan Koch on the S.M.A.C. Talk Technology Podcast. “Somebody thinks of production. Another one thinks of, “Oh yeah, that’s my customers, that’s my sales.” In the future, everything will need to go together and work together in an integrated way.”

Machine learning will allow companies to do more with their data, optimizing everything from materials sourcing to process adjustments. For example, a company could link systems across multiple operations and operators. This company could then use machine learning to either eliminate or automate redundant processes like invoicing.

Koch predicts that machine learning will also enable more advanced metal production capabilities that are cost-effective and high-value for the end customer. Presently, identical production processes may still yield slightly different finished products. These differences are due to naturally occurring material variances. Machine learning will allow companies to “look into the future” and predict quality outcomes down to the slightest variation. Producers could then pre-assign products to specific customers, delivering greater value and increasing customer satisfaction.

2. Virtual reality enables remote plant operations and value chain control

Will metal companies of the future still own physical deposits? Perhaps not, says Koch. On the S.M.A.C. Talk Technology Podcast, Koch notes that some metal companies are already moving away from asset ownership. These companies are “contracting production, resources, logistics, and materials” in a bid to control the value chain.

Consider, for example, a company that shares tasks with suppliers in other countries. This company could use virtual reality contacts to enable repair and control. The company could also use virtual reality to exchange or integrate data, boosting collaboration across the value chain.

Koch predicts that virtual reality will play an important role in streamlining remote plant operation. “These are concepts we see already picking up.”

3. Blockchain guarantees supply chain validity and authenticity

A blockchain is a tamper-proof distributed ledger that maintains a historical record of all data. Since this record is independent of a central authority, it is inherently resilient. Algorithms enable continuous verification and validity calibration. Data can be signed, timestamped, and immutably recorded in the blockchain. Blockchain can then provide essential transaction validation and purity verification, guaranteeing authenticity.

Koch predicts the metal industry will use blockchain to “provide faster and more rapid ways to authenticate materials.” In the recycling industry, for example, not all parties involved communicate with one another every day. The lack of a closed loop supply chain creates authentication challenges. In fact, Koch characterizes the current metal recycling supply chain as “a pretty random list of partners who interact on a long timeframe.” Blockchain solves this challenge by providing an immutable authenticity guarantee at each step.

Why the future of metals depends on digital transformation

Digitization is more than using predictive maintenance to maximize machine uptime. It’s about disrupting outdated processes and creating new business models.

The World Economic Forum predicts that, by 2025, digital transformation will create more than $425 billion of value for the mining and metals industry. Companies that embrace digital transformation will be best positioned to capitalize on this value creation.

To learn more about how digital transformation is disrupting the metals industry, listen to the S.M.A.C. Talk Technology Podcast with Stefan Koch. Learn how to bring new technologies and services together to power digital transformation by downloading The IoT Imperative for Energy and Natural Resource Companies.


Jennifer Scholze

About Jennifer Scholze

Jennifer Scholze is the Global Lead for Industry Marketing for the Mill Products and Mining Industries at SAP. She has over 20 years of technology marketing, communications and venture capital experience and lives in the Boston area with her husband and two children.

Can CIOs or CTOs Accept the New Role of Innovation or Transformation Agent?

Mukesh Gupta

CIO and CTO discuss new roleRecently, Dan Burrus wrote a couple of blog post for Harvard Business Review, where he expects that CIOs and CTOs to embrace new roles within their organizations. He expects and the CIOs should embrace the role of chief innovation officer and CTOs to embrace the role of chief transformation officer.

I do agree that this is an unprecedented opportunity, the current times requires organization to find ways to foster innovation, I don’t agree that every organization needs to start on a transformation journey. There are industries that are currently at the cusp of major transformations (Print media, automotive, retail). Organizations in these industries will need to re-invent themselves so that they continue to stay relevant in the new age. However, I don’t believe that this transformation will be led by the CTO. Nor do I believe that CIOs will lead the innovation efforts of the organization.

Though we would expect the CIOs and the CTOs to understand, advocate and embrace the technological revolution  is happening (ever increasing bandwidth, connectedness, processing power and storage; 3D printing; the maker movement; and Big Data and its impact (SoLoMo), mostly it is not the case.

My experience with the  CIOs and CT’s is very different and while they understand all of these changes happening all around them, most of them have not been able to connect them all back to their businesses. Most of these executives have risen to their roles from within their departments. This also means that their knowledge about their entire business is not as much as you would need in order to be able to take up such a role.

This has also been the reason that there are not many CIOs or CTOs that have gone on to become CEOs or enter the board rooms.

Also, in my opinion, Innovation is not something that you can drive from one office and succeed. Innovation needs to be everybody’s business. You need to create a culture where you expect people to keep exploring new things, challenging the assumptions behind standard operating procedures, etc. This can’t be one man’s responsibility. The moment you appoint a Chief Innovation Officer, that becomes his baby, which then kills the spirit of innovation.

Similarly, business transformation responsibility lies with the CEO. He is supposed to understand the business in its entirety. The moment this becomes someone else’s responsibility, the result of the transformation effort will be a disaster waiting to happen. This is also the reason so many of the transformation efforts fail.

The role of the CIO or the CTO should be to constantly keep exploring what is happening outside of the organization. Identify potential technological breakthroughs, newer business models that new technology can enable,  that can have an impact on their business (both good or bad)  and bring it back to the organization.

Another role that a CIO or the CTO can play is one of glue. They are probably the only team in an organization that touches & connects every department within the organization. What happens if they go one step further and become the people who break silos within the organization. This does require them to develop new skills like networking, understanding of the different facets of the business,  different perspectives of the people within each department and thereby the ability to find the common ground. All this can help them be the glue that keeps everyone connected and the hammer that breaks the silos whenever they creep up.

I don’t see them leading Innovation or transformation efforts anytime soon. However, they can be the spark that ignite the people to take one the journey.

Do you think that CIOs and CTOs will take up the chief innovation officer and chief transformation officer roles anytime soon? Why? Do share your thoughts by commenting below.


Swati Sinha

About Swati Sinha

Swati is part of the Analytic Applications for Line of Business team at SAP. She is passionate about marketing and is a technologist with a masters in business administration and masters in computer applications. Her experience spans development and product management with various technology companies.

Can CIOs or CTOs Accept the New Role of Innovation or Transformation Agent?

Mukesh Gupta

CIO and CTO discuss new roleRecently, Dan Burrus wrote a couple of blog post for Harvard Business Review, where he expects that CIOs and CTOs to embrace new roles within their organizations. He expects and the CIOs should embrace the role of chief innovation officer and CTOs to embrace the role of chief transformation officer.

I do agree that this is an unprecedented opportunity, the current times requires organization to find ways to foster innovation, I don’t agree that every organization needs to start on a transformation journey. There are industries that are currently at the cusp of major transformations (Print media, automotive, retail). Organizations in these industries will need to re-invent themselves so that they continue to stay relevant in the new age. However, I don’t believe that this transformation will be led by the CTO. Nor do I believe that CIOs will lead the innovation efforts of the organization.

Though we would expect the CIOs and the CTOs to understand, advocate and embrace the technological revolution  is happening (ever increasing bandwidth, connectedness, processing power and storage; 3D printing; the maker movement; and Big Data and its impact (SoLoMo), mostly it is not the case.

My experience with the  CIOs and CT’s is very different and while they understand all of these changes happening all around them, most of them have not been able to connect them all back to their businesses. Most of these executives have risen to their roles from within their departments. This also means that their knowledge about their entire business is not as much as you would need in order to be able to take up such a role.

This has also been the reason that there are not many CIOs or CTOs that have gone on to become CEOs or enter the board rooms.

Also, in my opinion, Innovation is not something that you can drive from one office and succeed. Innovation needs to be everybody’s business. You need to create a culture where you expect people to keep exploring new things, challenging the assumptions behind standard operating procedures, etc. This can’t be one man’s responsibility. The moment you appoint a Chief Innovation Officer, that becomes his baby, which then kills the spirit of innovation.

Similarly, business transformation responsibility lies with the CEO. He is supposed to understand the business in its entirety. The moment this becomes someone else’s responsibility, the result of the transformation effort will be a disaster waiting to happen. This is also the reason so many of the transformation efforts fail.

The role of the CIO or the CTO should be to constantly keep exploring what is happening outside of the organization. Identify potential technological breakthroughs, newer business models that new technology can enable,  that can have an impact on their business (both good or bad)  and bring it back to the organization.

Another role that a CIO or the CTO can play is one of glue. They are probably the only team in an organization that touches & connects every department within the organization. What happens if they go one step further and become the people who break silos within the organization. This does require them to develop new skills like networking, understanding of the different facets of the business,  different perspectives of the people within each department and thereby the ability to find the common ground. All this can help them be the glue that keeps everyone connected and the hammer that breaks the silos whenever they creep up.

I don’t see them leading Innovation or transformation efforts anytime soon. However, they can be the spark that ignite the people to take one the journey.

Do you think that CIOs and CTOs will take up the chief innovation officer and chief transformation officer roles anytime soon? Why? Do share your thoughts by commenting below.


Derek Klobucher

About Derek Klobucher

Derek Klobucher is a digital storyteller, writer and video journalist for SAP.

Can CIOs or CTOs Accept the New Role of Innovation or Transformation Agent?

Mukesh Gupta

CIO and CTO discuss new roleRecently, Dan Burrus wrote a couple of blog post for Harvard Business Review, where he expects that CIOs and CTOs to embrace new roles within their organizations. He expects and the CIOs should embrace the role of chief innovation officer and CTOs to embrace the role of chief transformation officer.

I do agree that this is an unprecedented opportunity, the current times requires organization to find ways to foster innovation, I don’t agree that every organization needs to start on a transformation journey. There are industries that are currently at the cusp of major transformations (Print media, automotive, retail). Organizations in these industries will need to re-invent themselves so that they continue to stay relevant in the new age. However, I don’t believe that this transformation will be led by the CTO. Nor do I believe that CIOs will lead the innovation efforts of the organization.

Though we would expect the CIOs and the CTOs to understand, advocate and embrace the technological revolution  is happening (ever increasing bandwidth, connectedness, processing power and storage; 3D printing; the maker movement; and Big Data and its impact (SoLoMo), mostly it is not the case.

My experience with the  CIOs and CT’s is very different and while they understand all of these changes happening all around them, most of them have not been able to connect them all back to their businesses. Most of these executives have risen to their roles from within their departments. This also means that their knowledge about their entire business is not as much as you would need in order to be able to take up such a role.

This has also been the reason that there are not many CIOs or CTOs that have gone on to become CEOs or enter the board rooms.

Also, in my opinion, Innovation is not something that you can drive from one office and succeed. Innovation needs to be everybody’s business. You need to create a culture where you expect people to keep exploring new things, challenging the assumptions behind standard operating procedures, etc. This can’t be one man’s responsibility. The moment you appoint a Chief Innovation Officer, that becomes his baby, which then kills the spirit of innovation.

Similarly, business transformation responsibility lies with the CEO. He is supposed to understand the business in its entirety. The moment this becomes someone else’s responsibility, the result of the transformation effort will be a disaster waiting to happen. This is also the reason so many of the transformation efforts fail.

The role of the CIO or the CTO should be to constantly keep exploring what is happening outside of the organization. Identify potential technological breakthroughs, newer business models that new technology can enable,  that can have an impact on their business (both good or bad)  and bring it back to the organization.

Another role that a CIO or the CTO can play is one of glue. They are probably the only team in an organization that touches & connects every department within the organization. What happens if they go one step further and become the people who break silos within the organization. This does require them to develop new skills like networking, understanding of the different facets of the business,  different perspectives of the people within each department and thereby the ability to find the common ground. All this can help them be the glue that keeps everyone connected and the hammer that breaks the silos whenever they creep up.

I don’t see them leading Innovation or transformation efforts anytime soon. However, they can be the spark that ignite the people to take one the journey.

Do you think that CIOs and CTOs will take up the chief innovation officer and chief transformation officer roles anytime soon? Why? Do share your thoughts by commenting below.


Susan Galer

About Susan Galer

Susan Galer is the Communications Director, SAP News Services.

Can CIOs or CTOs Accept the New Role of Innovation or Transformation Agent?

Mukesh Gupta

CIO and CTO discuss new roleRecently, Dan Burrus wrote a couple of blog post for Harvard Business Review, where he expects that CIOs and CTOs to embrace new roles within their organizations. He expects and the CIOs should embrace the role of chief innovation officer and CTOs to embrace the role of chief transformation officer.

I do agree that this is an unprecedented opportunity, the current times requires organization to find ways to foster innovation, I don’t agree that every organization needs to start on a transformation journey. There are industries that are currently at the cusp of major transformations (Print media, automotive, retail). Organizations in these industries will need to re-invent themselves so that they continue to stay relevant in the new age. However, I don’t believe that this transformation will be led by the CTO. Nor do I believe that CIOs will lead the innovation efforts of the organization.

Though we would expect the CIOs and the CTOs to understand, advocate and embrace the technological revolution  is happening (ever increasing bandwidth, connectedness, processing power and storage; 3D printing; the maker movement; and Big Data and its impact (SoLoMo), mostly it is not the case.

My experience with the  CIOs and CT’s is very different and while they understand all of these changes happening all around them, most of them have not been able to connect them all back to their businesses. Most of these executives have risen to their roles from within their departments. This also means that their knowledge about their entire business is not as much as you would need in order to be able to take up such a role.

This has also been the reason that there are not many CIOs or CTOs that have gone on to become CEOs or enter the board rooms.

Also, in my opinion, Innovation is not something that you can drive from one office and succeed. Innovation needs to be everybody’s business. You need to create a culture where you expect people to keep exploring new things, challenging the assumptions behind standard operating procedures, etc. This can’t be one man’s responsibility. The moment you appoint a Chief Innovation Officer, that becomes his baby, which then kills the spirit of innovation.

Similarly, business transformation responsibility lies with the CEO. He is supposed to understand the business in its entirety. The moment this becomes someone else’s responsibility, the result of the transformation effort will be a disaster waiting to happen. This is also the reason so many of the transformation efforts fail.

The role of the CIO or the CTO should be to constantly keep exploring what is happening outside of the organization. Identify potential technological breakthroughs, newer business models that new technology can enable,  that can have an impact on their business (both good or bad)  and bring it back to the organization.

Another role that a CIO or the CTO can play is one of glue. They are probably the only team in an organization that touches & connects every department within the organization. What happens if they go one step further and become the people who break silos within the organization. This does require them to develop new skills like networking, understanding of the different facets of the business,  different perspectives of the people within each department and thereby the ability to find the common ground. All this can help them be the glue that keeps everyone connected and the hammer that breaks the silos whenever they creep up.

I don’t see them leading Innovation or transformation efforts anytime soon. However, they can be the spark that ignite the people to take one the journey.

Do you think that CIOs and CTOs will take up the chief innovation officer and chief transformation officer roles anytime soon? Why? Do share your thoughts by commenting below.


Saj Hoffman-Hussain

About Saj Hoffman-Hussain

Saj is a former BBC News journalist who decided to hop over the pond to the USA in 2014 and since then has worked as a freelance media professional for CBS/NPR and local TV affiliates before transitioning to marketing content development. He has specialist expertise in digital technologies, politics, and commerce. His philosophy is to never underestimate the power of a well-brewed cup of tea, and don’t be afraid to take calculated risks after said cup of tea. Also, be nice to people who bring you tea.

Can CIOs or CTOs Accept the New Role of Innovation or Transformation Agent?

Mukesh Gupta

CIO and CTO discuss new roleRecently, Dan Burrus wrote a couple of blog post for Harvard Business Review, where he expects that CIOs and CTOs to embrace new roles within their organizations. He expects and the CIOs should embrace the role of chief innovation officer and CTOs to embrace the role of chief transformation officer.

I do agree that this is an unprecedented opportunity, the current times requires organization to find ways to foster innovation, I don’t agree that every organization needs to start on a transformation journey. There are industries that are currently at the cusp of major transformations (Print media, automotive, retail). Organizations in these industries will need to re-invent themselves so that they continue to stay relevant in the new age. However, I don’t believe that this transformation will be led by the CTO. Nor do I believe that CIOs will lead the innovation efforts of the organization.

Though we would expect the CIOs and the CTOs to understand, advocate and embrace the technological revolution  is happening (ever increasing bandwidth, connectedness, processing power and storage; 3D printing; the maker movement; and Big Data and its impact (SoLoMo), mostly it is not the case.

My experience with the  CIOs and CT’s is very different and while they understand all of these changes happening all around them, most of them have not been able to connect them all back to their businesses. Most of these executives have risen to their roles from within their departments. This also means that their knowledge about their entire business is not as much as you would need in order to be able to take up such a role.

This has also been the reason that there are not many CIOs or CTOs that have gone on to become CEOs or enter the board rooms.

Also, in my opinion, Innovation is not something that you can drive from one office and succeed. Innovation needs to be everybody’s business. You need to create a culture where you expect people to keep exploring new things, challenging the assumptions behind standard operating procedures, etc. This can’t be one man’s responsibility. The moment you appoint a Chief Innovation Officer, that becomes his baby, which then kills the spirit of innovation.

Similarly, business transformation responsibility lies with the CEO. He is supposed to understand the business in its entirety. The moment this becomes someone else’s responsibility, the result of the transformation effort will be a disaster waiting to happen. This is also the reason so many of the transformation efforts fail.

The role of the CIO or the CTO should be to constantly keep exploring what is happening outside of the organization. Identify potential technological breakthroughs, newer business models that new technology can enable,  that can have an impact on their business (both good or bad)  and bring it back to the organization.

Another role that a CIO or the CTO can play is one of glue. They are probably the only team in an organization that touches & connects every department within the organization. What happens if they go one step further and become the people who break silos within the organization. This does require them to develop new skills like networking, understanding of the different facets of the business,  different perspectives of the people within each department and thereby the ability to find the common ground. All this can help them be the glue that keeps everyone connected and the hammer that breaks the silos whenever they creep up.

I don’t see them leading Innovation or transformation efforts anytime soon. However, they can be the spark that ignite the people to take one the journey.

Do you think that CIOs and CTOs will take up the chief innovation officer and chief transformation officer roles anytime soon? Why? Do share your thoughts by commenting below.


Elvira Wallis

About Elvira Wallis

Elvira Wallis is the Senior Vice President of SAP’s IoT Smart Connected Business organization. Elvira is responsible for ideating, defining, delivering and taking-to-market IoT business solutions to increase revenue, adoption and thought leadership.

Can CIOs or CTOs Accept the New Role of Innovation or Transformation Agent?

Mukesh Gupta

CIO and CTO discuss new roleRecently, Dan Burrus wrote a couple of blog post for Harvard Business Review, where he expects that CIOs and CTOs to embrace new roles within their organizations. He expects and the CIOs should embrace the role of chief innovation officer and CTOs to embrace the role of chief transformation officer.

I do agree that this is an unprecedented opportunity, the current times requires organization to find ways to foster innovation, I don’t agree that every organization needs to start on a transformation journey. There are industries that are currently at the cusp of major transformations (Print media, automotive, retail). Organizations in these industries will need to re-invent themselves so that they continue to stay relevant in the new age. However, I don’t believe that this transformation will be led by the CTO. Nor do I believe that CIOs will lead the innovation efforts of the organization.

Though we would expect the CIOs and the CTOs to understand, advocate and embrace the technological revolution  is happening (ever increasing bandwidth, connectedness, processing power and storage; 3D printing; the maker movement; and Big Data and its impact (SoLoMo), mostly it is not the case.

My experience with the  CIOs and CT’s is very different and while they understand all of these changes happening all around them, most of them have not been able to connect them all back to their businesses. Most of these executives have risen to their roles from within their departments. This also means that their knowledge about their entire business is not as much as you would need in order to be able to take up such a role.

This has also been the reason that there are not many CIOs or CTOs that have gone on to become CEOs or enter the board rooms.

Also, in my opinion, Innovation is not something that you can drive from one office and succeed. Innovation needs to be everybody’s business. You need to create a culture where you expect people to keep exploring new things, challenging the assumptions behind standard operating procedures, etc. This can’t be one man’s responsibility. The moment you appoint a Chief Innovation Officer, that becomes his baby, which then kills the spirit of innovation.

Similarly, business transformation responsibility lies with the CEO. He is supposed to understand the business in its entirety. The moment this becomes someone else’s responsibility, the result of the transformation effort will be a disaster waiting to happen. This is also the reason so many of the transformation efforts fail.

The role of the CIO or the CTO should be to constantly keep exploring what is happening outside of the organization. Identify potential technological breakthroughs, newer business models that new technology can enable,  that can have an impact on their business (both good or bad)  and bring it back to the organization.

Another role that a CIO or the CTO can play is one of glue. They are probably the only team in an organization that touches & connects every department within the organization. What happens if they go one step further and become the people who break silos within the organization. This does require them to develop new skills like networking, understanding of the different facets of the business,  different perspectives of the people within each department and thereby the ability to find the common ground. All this can help them be the glue that keeps everyone connected and the hammer that breaks the silos whenever they creep up.

I don’t see them leading Innovation or transformation efforts anytime soon. However, they can be the spark that ignite the people to take one the journey.

Do you think that CIOs and CTOs will take up the chief innovation officer and chief transformation officer roles anytime soon? Why? Do share your thoughts by commenting below.


Bonnie D. Graham

About Bonnie D. Graham

Bonnie D. Graham is the creator, producer and host/moderator of Game-Changers Radio series presented by SAP, bringing technology and business strategy discussions to a global audience. A broadcast journalist with over 20 years in media production and hosting, Bonnie has held marketing communications management roles in a variety of industries. Listen to the flagship series, Coffee Break with Game-Changers.