Friday, May 11, 2012

Investing Well in IT With Emphasis on KPIs Separates Business Leaders from Business Laggards, Survey Results Show

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on the results of a survey that show that innovation focusing on information and KPIs drives substantial positive business results.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today we present a sponsored podcast discussion on some fascinating new findings from a recent survey on chief information officer (CIO)-level priorities. We'll uncover what distinguishes leaders from laggards among businesses, and identify which IT approaches and solutions are driving the most powerful business results these days.

To help dig into the survey, explain what it means, and learn how these results can lead to establishing winning new IT strategies we're joined by Joel Dobbs, President and CEO of Compass Talent Management Group. He's also an Executive in Residence at the School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and a lead blogger and member of the Enterprise CIO Forum.

What’s more, Joel is a retired CIO himself, coming from such organizations as GlaxoWellcome, Schering-Plough, and Eisai. Welcome to our discussion, Joel.

Joel Dobbs: Thank you very much.

Gardner: We're also here with Daniel Dorr, a Worldwide Solutions Manager for HP Enterprise Marketing. Welcome to you, Daniel. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts].

Daniel Dorr: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: Let’s start with just an overview of what we wanted to accomplish. Daniel, what was the idea behind doing this survey at this time?

Dorr: Dana, a lot of companies talk about how important technology is, and we all represent our technology as the right answer to the problem. But if our job is to help our CIO clients better use technology to solve business results -- and if our job is to help our CIOs work more effectively with their executive committees and CEOs -- the best way for us to help them is to determine which technologies actually change or correlate with in-market results.

In other words, if we look at revenue leaders in-market, which technology seems to be most closely associated with those who lead in-market performance? It's not technology for technology’s sake, or because it’s exciting or new -- but technology that actually seems to represent business results.

So our goal here was to help our clients do a better job of assessing which technologies lead to in-market business results and which technologies might not.

Gardner: Well, this has been a hot topic for decades, trying to establish the link between technology practices and business results.

Joel, you've been in the trenches as a CIO. You're now involved with the academic view of this at UAB and doing some IT talent work. When you reviewed these results, was there anything that jumped out, that was perhaps something new or interesting?

Not much separation


Dobbs: There were a couple of things that surprised me, one of which is how close statistically the leaders and laggards were in some areas. There was not as much separation in some of the areas that were looked at as I would have expected.

The other thing that surprised me is one of the areas that gets an awful lot of play in the press now -- this whole idea of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies for employees. For the most part, this seemed to have been a non-issue for most of these folks. This suggests that either this has not taken hold as much as we would be led to believe, or that companies have just basically decided they're not going to tackle this battle now and will save that for another day.

Gardner: Tell us a little bit, Daniel, about this survey. When did it happen? Who was targeted? HP was involved. Maybe you can tell us how, and then who conducted it?

Dorr: We wanted to understand the difference between market leaders, from a revenue perspective, and market laggards or followers, and see what their IT environments looked like. We surveyed 688 organizations. We spoke to IT decision makers, so we would call that "CIO minus one." We didn’t speak to the CIO directly. We spoke to the people that reported to him or her.

Everyone that we spoke to had to have significant knowledge about applications, information, data center operation, security, and cloud. The survey was conducted over nine different geographies: the US, Brazil, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Japan, China, Australia, and covered a number of different industry groups.

This was not a public survey. In other words, the people responding didn't know the survey was coming from HP. It was a blind survey. We asked over 55 different questions around areas of application, security, information, cloud, etc. to understand which attributes were most strongly correlated with in-market or revenue performance, and those that weren't.

The questions we were trying to answer were what do market leaders do versus followers? How do industry leaders differ from followers? Is there a difference depending on the region or the market or the industry? And where do IT decision makers focus on a day-to-day level, versus the more CIO strategic forward two-year thinking level?

Gardner: Just to be clear, the surveys were delivered and answered in the last few months of 2011. Is that right?

Dorr: Exactly right. The results came into us in December 2011. So this is pretty accurate and up-to-date data.

Gardner: How about some of the top findings? Were there some nuts and bolts issues here around workload, automation, server capacity, things like that, that we could look to and just get a sense of who these organizations are and where they are on their journey toward a better IT outcome?

In search of priorities

Dorr: We asked more than 50 questions to understand from organizations where their priorities were and what they were doing today and then we compared that to their in-market performance. And I would say the answers fell into three buckets: They were around infrastructure issues, information and information management, and people and processes.

On the infrastructure side of the equation, we asked a number of questions, but the ones that rose to the top in terms of driving in-market or correlation between revenue performance were probably three or four. A lot of it had to do with application modernization and security, when it came to the infrastructure side of the equation.

For example, market leaders tended to have fewer custom applications and fewer legacy applications. They tended to use their server capacity more efficiently than their peers. Those were some of the big ones around the infrastructure side of equation.

With security, the market leaders tended to build security, not only into the boundary, but also into the applications themselves, versus the market followers who tended to focus on an us-versus-them mentality, or just boundary security.

… Companies that manage risk more effectively and more automated definitely outperformed their peers. As a technology company, we're always looking at the infrastructure. We're always talking about how infrastructure can lead to competitive advantage, and we saw that. But a lot of times we forget the people and process side of the equation.

Companies that manage risk more effectively and more automated definitely outperformed their peers.



One of the other areas that jumped out at me was the need for clarity and agreement of key performance indicators (KPIs). Market-leading companies who outperform in revenue over their peers had more clarity within IT about which KPIs were important and had agreement on those KPIs. Everyone is marching and working toward the same goals. That had a huge impact on me as well.

It’s not just about infrastructure. It’s not just about managing risk. It’s also the people/process side of the equation that is critical in market-leading companies.

Gardner: Joel, when you hear that those who are doing well seem to have fewer custom apps, fewer legacy apps, higher utilization rates on their servers, what does that tell you about these types of organizations?

Dobbs: It tells me a couple of things. We'll start with the second one, server utilization. What I think you're seeing there is the affected people who have really done a good job with virtualization. You're not having is a lot of equipment sitting around idle or used at under-capacity. So I suspect virtualization probably plays into that difference significantly for a number of people.

Custom and legacy applications was something I hadn't really thought about until I read this material. I suspect that what you're seeing is probably a result of modernization of the applications that I call commodity applications, things like human resources, some of the financial applications, a lot of things that are generic across businesses. You're probably seeing some of the leaders move to more software-as-a-service (SaaS)-type applications in order to free up their staff to work on things that are much more strategic to their business.

Unique value

So the things that they're working on are probably things that are adding unique value to their business, and they're not spending a lot of cycles doing things with generic applications that they can buy and let somebody else manage.

If you're just doing security on the boundaries, that's a cheap way to do security, if you think about it. You put a firewall in place, you configure the thing, and you do the boundary security stuff. But when you're building another layer of security into your applications, that tells me that there's a lot more focus on the realization of the value of what's in there, in terms of the data and the way that it’s used.

There's very much an intentional focus on protecting not only the perimeter of the institution, but making sure that there's added security and protection within the perimeter. I would expect that folks who are really serious about understanding the value of the information within those systems, and [understanding] the risk to their corporate reputation, should those be compromised, are being very intentional about mitigating those risks.

Gardner: So it's a strategic, comprehensive approach to security across the assets -- including the applications.

Daniel, before we move on, a question on the infrastructure. When I saw this, I said that sounds like services orientation (SOA) -- modernized apps, fewer monolithic stacks, higher utilization vis-à-vis virtualization. Was there anything else that would back up my hunch that services orientation or SOA was also prominent in the way they are doing infrastructure?

Virtualization, in and of itself, did not rise to the surface of market leaders versus followers.



Dorr: You're absolutely right, but the key component here is actually using it for the right purposes. Virtualization was one of the questions, but you'll notice virtualization, in and of itself, did not rise to the surface of market leaders versus followers.

It wasn't just that you're moving to a service-oriented view, but you're actually implementing it in a way that means something to the business. You're actually seeing a change in capacity usage. You're actually seeing a change in custom and legacy applications.

Again, not following that shiny object, but it's implementing it in a way that's strategic to the business, is what we are seeing here that leads to success. It's not just virtualization, but it's using virtualization to its full capacity.

Dobbs: I agree completely.

Gardner: So we have talked a little bit about infrastructure. What were some of the other major areas, Daniel?

Dorr: The second big area was around information. There was a huge difference around the area of audit and compliance. For example, we saw that more than half of the market leaders had automated their audit and compliance, about 52 percent. Market followers tended to be much less. Around 39 percent had automated their audit and compliance.

Information strategy

There was an information strategy in place in both market leaders and market followers. However, market leaders tended to have automated their information-management strategy, versus followers, who just had it documented.

Also, we see a big difference in the use of business intelligence (BI) to automate decision making. About 18 percent of market leaders are automating their decision making using BI tools, while only 7 percent, so less than half of them, less than half of them as leaders, are doing that.

Now, there is still a huge amount of room for growth on both leaders and followers there, but to see only 18 percent rise to the surface already tells you the importance of automating BI decision making as a clear difference for market leadership.

Gardner: Let's go back to Joel on those two items. This gets to a point that I'm really interested in, a movement in business nowadays to much more of a data-driven and analysis-driven decision process. Perhaps the older way might be summed up by the highest paid person's opinion (HPPO) being the way that ultimately decisions were made.

But Joel, how do you react to some of these findings around information management and BI?

Dobbs: There are a couple of things here. One is that there's been an interesting evolution over the last 20 years in this field. We started out in IT automating various business processes. The focus was on making those processes faster or more efficient or something of that sort. As a result of that, we were generating information that had valuable use, but really wasn't being used that much.

What you're seeing with the leaders is that they not only understand it, but they're doing it.



It was during the reengineering revolution in the early '90s that people began to look at that. Along with the uptake of Six Sigma and Lean Sigma, people began looking at harvesting that data that was collected almost as a byproduct of automation and using it for continuous improvement and various other things.

This whole field has matured. Take the example of just the retail industry and all the information that’s collected as a result of point-of-sale processing and things like that. What we've learned is that that’s a rich trove of information that can be mined and used for all kind of things.

What you're seeing with the leaders is that they not only understand it, but they're doing it. That’s a big differentiator between those who understand it and have the insight and the capabilities to take this information and look at it in different ways. I suspect some of the automating of business, the BI automation, as we were talking about, is really a way of going back and using technology to create options for decision making, based on automated looks at data.

Let's talk about the automation of, I think the term you used, Daniel, was the automation of their information strategy, versus documentation. What that tells me is one group is doing it and the other group is just writing it down, and that’s a big difference. It’s like the difference between what most people do with strategy. Most people develop a strategy and there comes nice a book that sits on a shelf somewhere, and very little gets done about it.

The ones who are really leaders are the people who develop a strategy and then part of that strategy is a strategy to implement the strategy. That’s what this automation that you saw among the leaders really reflects -- not just talking about it, but actually doing it.

Single view

Gardner: It strikes me too that this gets back to that theme that we raised earlier about being controlled and being comprehensive as an IT organization. You can’t gain that single view of the customer and you can’t gain insight across an entire business process, purchasing, supply chain, the relationship between cost and outcomes, without that ability to gather all the different bits and pieces and then manage that in some full way.

So it strikes me, again, as an indicator of maturity and comprehensive control vis-à-vis IT and makes them therefore more powerful when it comes to this level of insight. Daniel, what other areas were part of the top findings, and where can we go now to the next stage, which would perhaps a little bit better define what distinguishes leaders?

Dorr: Just to close on that information discussion, I agree completely with Joel’s points. If you think about it, there were seven key attributes that rose to the surface for market leaders, revenue leaders, and revenue followers.

Three of those were around information. Automating your audit and compliance, having an automated information strategy. In other words, as Joel said, doing it, versus just writing it down, and really using BI for decision making. Three out of seven are around information. So clearly this is a key theme for in-market performance.

One of the things we do at HP is workshops for CIOs to help align business and IT and identify the impact that IT can have on the business. This comes up every single workshop we do.

I don’t think we can understate the importance of helping the business see what’s happening and understand what’s happening through automating audit and compliance.



We did it with a retailer recently. It took them days to process in-store information, in order to know what SKUs were selling and how well marketing programs were doing. By the time they had that information, it was too late for them to do anything.

They couldn’t change the SKUs on shelf. They couldn’t update, migrate, manage, or move the marketing program into new regions or what have you. As a result, their performance in-market clearly showed the difference. They were at a 20 percent disadvantage to the revenue leader in their category.

So I don’t think we can understate the importance of helping the business see what’s happening and understand what’s happening through automating audit and compliance, through actually implementing the information management strategy and trying to automate as much as possible decision making using BI.

Dobbs: I would echo that and add one thing. Daniel pointed out that there is increasingly a competitive advantage. The competitive advantage becomes not just doing it, but doing it faster than your competitors and being able to understand the meaning and the application of the data ahead of your competitor.

The retail example is a great one, where you're lagging days behind in your ability to harvest and use the information. Increasingly, the competitive advantage becomes being able to make adjustments and move much more quickly, whether it’s deciding where to place inventory or how much inventory you need to keep on hand, and all those kind of things. Time is money, and being able to move quickly can be a huge advantage.

What about cloud?

Gardner: We haven’t talked too much about cloud computing, and this did come up as one item that distinguishes leaders over laggards. Perhaps we could address that. Daniel, what is it about cloud that popped out in this survey?

Dorr: The focus of the survey was what capabilities clients have today and how that correlates to their revenue performance. We didn’t see a lot of cloud attributes rising to the service in people’s current capabilities. We did, however, see it rising to the surface in the focus area, where we asked IT decision makers, the CIO minus one, what was important to them. We did see a pretty significant difference between what market leaders, revenue leaders, thought was important about cloud versus market followers.

In fact, almost half of revenue leaders see cloud as incredibly important to them versus their peers, almost half of that number in the market followers. So, we're seeing a lot more priority focus on cloud computing going forward.

We didn’t see it driving current revenue performance, which makes sense. Cloud is somewhat of a new technology. We haven’t seen it fully deployed in many cases in driving today’s revenue.

Gardner: For the benefit of our listeners, Daniel, maybe we could just go through the list at a prioritized basis, with descending priority, on what distinguished the leaders over the laggards. I think the top one is security as we mentioned, but let’s just go through it on a list basis, so they can get a sense of the importance.

Cloud is somewhat of a new technology. We haven’t seen it fully deployed in many cases in driving today’s revenue.



Dorr: Sure. Of the 50 attributes that we asked our CIO minus one IT decision makers and directors, what was happening within their IT environment, seven of those attributes rose to the surface, and they fell into three buckets, as we talked about briefly before. One was around the infrastructure side of the equation or the core computing environment, one was around information, and then the final one was around people and processes.

… With the survey, once we identified which specific attributes differentiated market leaders and market laggards or market followers from a revenue perspective, we then put it on a maturity score and we would score them based on those key attributes. You can see a clear difference between those with obviously a higher score, a higher maturity in their IT environment, around those key specific areas and their in-market performance.

Specific areas

S
o from the infrastructure side, it was custom applications and legacy applications. Leaders had fewer custom applications -- 38 percent versus the followers at 45 percent.

Leaders had fewer legacy applications -- 25 percent versus followers at 32 percent.

Leaders used their server capacity more efficiently. They used about 80 percent of their server capacity at peak usage, versus followers using only 71 percent.

Leaders had security built into the applications as well as at the boundary, versus only a boundary-level security, inside/outside view of the world.

In the information area, leaders automated audit and compliance at an average of about 52 percent versus followers at 39 percent.

Leaders had automated their information strategy, versus followers only documenting their information strategy.

Leaders tended to use more BI and automated decision making versus followers. So 18 percent of leaders had automated business decision making using BI, versus followers at only 7 percent.

Then there is the people and processes side -- and this is an area where CIOs can actually start working on right now without spending a cent -- which was clarity and agreement of KPIs. We saw a big difference in market leaders. There was a high degree of clarity within their organizations about what the KPIs were and agreement on those KPIs, versus only a moderate level of agreement within market followers.

That’s an area where CIOs can take action today. They don’t even have to talk to a vendor or an analyst at all. They can walk right into the CEO’s office and start working on that problem today.

Gardner: Let’s move to a separate lens to view this through. One of the things you asked was a series of questions that led to some conclusions about what distinguishes those who do best, and what leaders were focused more on. You broke it out into five different areas and you got some indicators of why it’s important, leaders versus laggards. Perhaps you could run through those as well.

Leaders had security built into the applications as well as at the boundary, versus only a boundary-level security, inside/outside view of the world.



Dorr: At the end of the survey, we asked them areas of importance, and we gave them security, information and insight, infrastructure convergence, application transformation, and cloud computing. We asked them to rank which were the most important to them. And we asked them to rank their current capabilities.

This was different from the attributes. For example, most of our IT decision makers ranked security, defined as keeping the lights on, as the number one priority. When they ranked their current capability, again, they ranked their current capabilities quite high, doing that well today. Although leaders tended to feel they were doing a better job of keeping the lights on, versus revenue followers.

Number two on the list was information and insight, in terms of driving what is important today from an IT organization. Again, the average of how important it is was not significantly different between leaders and followers. What was significantly different was how well they rated themselves.

We saw this in the individual attributes, but also when they ranked it at the end as well. Leaders tended to outperform, or believe they were doing a better job managing information and insight, than their followers by almost twice as much.

No huge difference

T
here were no huge differences on converged infrastructure or applications between leaders and followers, but the area where we saw a big difference was in cloud computing. Leaders ranked it much higher in importance and believed their current capabilities are much higher than their industry peers.

Gardner: Joel, let's go back to something you mentioned earlier. You were a little bit surprised that the difference on some of these areas between the leaders and the laggards was smaller -- there wasn’t a great deal of difference. Which of those were you referring to and what does that tell us about a baseline of IT functionality that everyone has, but it doesn’t really distinguish anyone either?

Dobbs: Some of the things really surprised me, security actually. The magnitude of that difference was somewhat surprising. Things like the infrastructure convergence were actually fairly close. I expected a little bit more of a spread there.

Around information and insight, there's a pretty good difference. It's statistically significant because of the size. In many ways I would have expected that spread to be even larger, because so many laggard companies are really just operationally focused, keeping the lights on, etc.

I was even surprised that you had that large of a percentage that rated themselves very capable. I would have expected it to be lower than that. In some ways, I would have expected more of the leaders to have considered themselves very capable. So that was a little bit lower than I would have expected.

We didn’t see a huge difference in the regions, particularly the U.S., Latin America, or Asia Pacific and Japan.



For cloud computing, the capabilities are probably not that surprising but, again, the spread was a little less than I would have expected. Because it's a new technology, one would expect that the leading companies would have been much more further out front, beginning to look at ways of exploring the capability there.

But you had only about 36 percent versus 20 percent. It's statistically significant, but was somewhat surprising to me that the gap was not even larger than that.

If you look back at how they ranked cloud computing by importance, it's the same sort of thing, I would have expected a higher percentage to have been looking, if that's something that’s potentially very important, particularly at some of the capabilities that are available today in SaaS. It's a way of getting away from having to maintain rudimentary legacy systems that really don’t add a lot of business value.

Gardner: Let's slice and dice this a different way. Daniel, what about regional differences, or similarities, but let's start with differences? What were some of the biggest differences by region that jumped out at you? Then, maybe we could ask Joel to tell us what he thinks that means in terms of the progression of these technologies and maturity models around the globe.

Dorr: We didn’t see a huge difference in the regions, particularly the U.S., Latin America, or Asia Pacific and Japan. In those regions we saw a little bit in terms of platforms -- Windows versus Linux, virtualization, and so forth -- but not huge issues. It was more kind of personal preferences.

Mainframe in Europe


The one that did jump out at us though was Europe. The biggest difference in Europe is that there is actually a growing movement around the mainframe. At the global level, we saw the mainframe was irrelevant to market leaders versus market followers.

In other words, some market leaders were moving more towards the mainframe, some market followers were moving more towards the mainframe. Some market leaders were moving off of the mainframe and some market followers were doing the same. So there was no correlation between a mainframe strategy and in-market performance anywhere, except in Europe.

In Europe, we saw that market leaders were those that were moving and growing their mainframe strategy, versus market followers who were just maintaining their current mainframe strategy.

Gardner: What does that tell you, Joel? What is it about Europe that has them so interested in mainframes or perhaps that leads them to be successful?

Dobbs: That’s a very good question. That’s actually a surprising finding. Having worked in Europe for a number of years earlier in my career, there are two things that I suspect that might be factors, and these are generalizations. So I don’t know if they're applicable in all cases.

In Europe, we saw that market leaders were those that were moving and growing their mainframe strategy.



What you see a lot of times in European companies is a much more conservative approach to a lot of things in business, and IT is certainly one of those. So change doesn't always come as rapidly in some of those cultures as one would see in cultures with a higher risk tolerance, like you may see in U.S. and other areas. That may be one thing.

The other thing I would wonder about is the extent to which the economic environment there may have an impact on this. You're seeing growth in the mainframe sector, largely because companies may be avoiding expensive investments in other technologies and simply expanding upon what they already have. There are a lot of implications, not only in terms of software and licensing and a number of other things, in being moved to another platform.

So I wonder if the economic environment there has been a factor as well. It's hard to say, but that’s interesting and somewhat perplexing finding.

Gardner: It makes sense that they are maintaining their current systems rather than growing and modernizing.

How about vertical industries, Daniel, anything that jumps out there in terms of which vertical industries that you examined and broke out in your survey seemed to be doing well, and for what reasons?

Vertical industries

Dorr: We looked at retail, communication service providers or telco, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, and banking. The results were comparable to what we saw in each of the regions with what we saw at a global level.

We saw a couple of differences in each of the industries. In retail, for example, when it came to their information strategy, a new aspect was how they managed both structured and unstructured data, versus only structured information.

This makes sense, if you think about it from a retail perspective. There is a lot of qualitative information coming in for leaders to understand, not just that the inventories are up or down or sales are up or down, but to understand why. So that was a big one that’s different from a retail perspective.

In communication service providers, no big differences there between what was happening at the global level versus the retail level.

In manufacturing, we saw a little difference in terms of external IT spend on new applications. In this case, leaders were spending less on new applications than followers.

In manufacturing, we saw a little difference in terms of external IT spend on new applications. In this case, leaders were spending less on new applications than followers.



In the energy sector, there were no significant differences there, or in healthcare. In banking, the one biggest one was cloud capabilities. We did see a lot more interest in cloud in banking than we saw in some of the other areas. Otherwise, it was very similar to what we saw at the global level.

Gardner: So we've got some interesting takeaways here about the role of modernizing, gaining visibility, measuring along the way, being comprehensive in how IT approaches these problems, being responsive to the business on the business terms rather than the technology terms, with an emphasis on culture as well and the people and the process. We've talked about this at a high level.

Daniel, for those folks who are intrigued and would like to get some of these statistics and findings themselves, do you have a place they can go to learn more to either perhaps see a slide deck, a white paper? What’s available for them?

Dorr: A couple of places. First of all, you can join us at the HP Discover 2012 event in Las Vegas in June. We'll be presenting these results there and sharing it with attendees there. In addition, they will be posted on hp.com.

Gardner: Great. Joel, what takeaways do you have from this in terms of whether people should readjust their thinking or perhaps take a pause and ask what they can be doing different when they sort of tease out some of the findings here?

Impact of investments


Dobbs: There was an interesting study published by MIT just a month or so ago that looked at a number of companies. What they found is that some of these companies that were investing heavily in IT, the IT investments actually had a greater impact on profitability than the same amount of money invested in research and development or in advertising. That’s a shocking finding.

I think what happens, when you delve underneath these companies who get such great returns on IT, you find two or three different things that are embodied in what we saw in some of the leaders here.

One of them is really good governance around decision making. The second thing is probably ownership of IT by the entire executive team. And I think the third thing is that they're probably measuring their return using business metrics on the investments that they make.

That’s what differentiates the leaders from the laggards -- they're approaching IT holistically as a core part of their business strategy, instead of seeing it as a support function or a back-office function.

That’s what differentiates the leaders from the laggards -- they're approaching IT holistically as a core part of their business strategy.



And things like this study that we've just been talking about today, as well as the MIT study, help add credence to the idea that money is well invested in IT, and I emphasize well-invested. It can have a tremendous payback, but only if you use it wisely.

Gardner: And that sort of runs counter to the perception of IT as a cost center, rather than as an enabler for growth and opportunity.

Dobbs: Precisely.

Gardner: Okay. Daniel, last word to you, are there takeaways or areas that we may not have covered that you think we should also uncover here?

Dorr: Joel said it very eloquently. There is a large body of research. Now, we have HP's own research. We have the MIT study, showing that there is a clear correlation between technology and in-market revenue results. As CIOs, we should feel confident to walk into the CEO’s office and talk to them about the strategic benefits that we can offer the organization.

The two biggest areas that we should be having conversations with our business counterparts today are clearly around information and KPIs. If we have agreement on those, we've covered more than half of the key attributes that we see between market leaders and market followers.

So there's a lot of opportunity for us in IT to start playing an even bigger leadership role in helping our companies innovate and drive in-market results. I look forward to seeing what the results look like two years from now, once we see cloud and other things deployed and driving even bigger benefits.

Gardner: As you point out, there's a lot more room for growth around those BI and analytics benefits. They're already sort of showing a great deal of worth even though we are still early into it.

You've been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast discussion on some new findings from a recent survey on priorities for IT organizations and what distinguishes leaders and laggards in the field based on their business outcome.

I'd like to thank our guests, Joel Dobbs, President and CEO of Compass Talent Management Group, as well as Executive in Residence at the School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is also a lead blogger and a member of the Enterprise CIO Forum.

And we've also been joined by Daniel Dorr, Worldwide Solutions Manager for HP Enterprise Marketing. Thanks to you both.

Dobbs: Thank you.

Dorr: Thank you.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks also to you for listening, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on the results of a survey that show that innovation focusing on information and KPIs drives substantial positive business results. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2012. All rights reserved.

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