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CIO vs CEO: The seemingly never-ending argument when it comes to Business Intelligence

By 12th February 2020January 13th, 2021No Comments

Businesses can get to unimaginable heights if they use Business Intelligence (BI) correctly. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy and CIO’s and CEO’s tend to clash when it comes to implementation and maintenance. We look at what makes CEO’s and CIO’s bah heads when it comes to BI and how to overcome them.  

Challenges facing both CIO’s and CEO’s 

CEO’s depend on their ability to accelerate a company’s growth. They have consistent pressure from stakeholders who have high expectations of their ability to perform the role of CEO. The same could be said about the role of CIO’s, they have pressure to minimize downtime and ensure the business is running optimally with the budget allocated. Below the challenges that make CIO’s and CEO’s butt heads: 

  1. Driving Growth: The top challenge any CEO must face is driving growth to accelerate business. Failure to achieve this often results in replacement and the pressure is constant. This means that other parts of the business that are not delivering growth get pressure from the CEO. CIO’s normally are at the top of the list due to their involvement in business operations. This problem can be solved by business intelligence; however, the CEO often expects more from CIO’s than they can deliver in short periods. 
  1. Demand for immediate information: Stakeholders demand reports and data even if they don’t necessarily know how to read it. Even so, failure to produce this can oftebe seen as poor job performance leading to CEO’s putting more pressure on CIO’s to produce reports that may not even be relevant to the business.  
  1. Statistically poor understanding of BI: According to an article by The Executive Connection, “Executive management, operations, and sales are the primary driving forces behind the adoption of business intelligence strategies. … Though it has been proven that the right analytic data can disrupt entire industries, many C-suite executives aren’t clear on how the data can do so.” CIO’s often face the problem of producing too much or irrelevant data based on misguided instructions to use Business Intelligence. Perhaps, some may not even understand it as well.  
  1. Budget restrictions: Regardless of a growing demand for BI, finance departments are often reluctant to allocate the budget needed to implement BI tools and analytics. CIO’s often get given less budget than they need to implement tools that will optimise the business and CEO’s often need to cut down spending to show profit growth to stakeholders.  

How can the BI argument end between CIO’s and CEO? 

The path to solving any business problem starts with communication. Through openly discussing barriers and goals, CIO’s can understand what the CEO expects of them to drive profits. Below are a few solutions that will help businesses begin their BI journeys for better optimisation.  

  1. Open communication between all stakeholders is important. Medium to large businesses normally have departmental structures which hinder the opportunities for communication regarding reporting needs. Having daily touch-base sessions, weekly meetings and internal memos can help employees in a business what is happening. A shared BI project folder on an Intranet can help businesses have one centralised document sharing center so that all stakeholders are aware of changes and updates.  
  1. Due to the pressure set from executives in businesses, deadlines for reports and system implementations are often made short. CEO’s and CIO’s need to prioritise tasks in line with business goals as well as set realistic deadlines that are manageable for all parts of the business.  
  1. Educate management and executives about the importance of analytics and BI. A lack of understanding of technology is one of the main reasons that technology adoption is slow in business. Through customised training, IT and management can solve the reporting problem in business.  
  1. Continue a culture of collaboration with all parts of the business. If a business makes collaboration essential to working there, it’s easier to maintain. It should start at the top with the CEO and CIO’s.  

CIO’s and CEO’s will probably always butt heads as the business world continues to throw challenges there way. However, challenges facing them with regards to Business Intelligence can be easily solved through open communication, realistic timelines, prioritization and business goal alignment 

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