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The following article was published by Forbes and written by Bob Evans. Several themes reverberate throughout: analytics, breaking down silos, social, the cloud, and particularly customers, opportunities, growth, and innovation. I hope these prove helpful, and please share your feedback in the comments section below or on Twitter at @bobevansIT.Please check out recent additions to our coverage of the strategic CIO: Career Suicide and the CIO: 4 Deadly New Threats  and The Surge of the Strategic CIO.

And the turbulent forces shaping businesses in today’s always-on global marketplace promise to accelerate that ongoing evolution. In that context, I’ve put together a list of what I believe will be the top priorities for strategic CIOs in the coming year.

As you’ll see, each of these 10 is rooted in change, and calls for the CIO to be a leader instead of a follower; a disrupter instead of a go-alonger; and a business-driven executive instead of a tech-focused manager.

  1. Simplify IT and Transform Your Spending: Kick the 80/20 Budget Habit.
  2. Lead the Social Revolution: Drive the Social-Enabled Enterprise.
  3. Unleash Your Company’s Intelligence: Create the Enterprise-Wide Opportunity Chain.
  4. Embrace the Engagement Economy: Merge the Back Office and the Front Office into the Customer Office.
  5. Future-Proof Your IT Architecture.
  6. Upgrade “Cloud Strategy” to “Business Transformation Enabled by the Cloud.”
  7. Transform Big Data into Big Insights, Big Vision, and Big Opportunities.
  8. Preside over a Shotgun Wedding: Systems of Record Marry Systems of Engagement.
  9. Lead with Speed: CIO as Chief Acceleration Officer.
  10. Bend the Value Curve: More Innovation, Less Integration.

 

Read more: The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2013 …

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Originally published on http://www.triplepundit.com.One of the main issues that came up at the Responsible Business Summit was sustainability reporting. Even with all the progress we have seen so far, reporting continues to be one of the most challenging issues for CSR executives. Still, just like CSR, reporting becomes more focused, strategic and smart, and there’s even a continuous search after its business value. The journey of sustainability reporting is still a long one, but listening to the CSR executives in the summit it became clear to me that companies now understand the significance of reporting more than ever and try to figure out how to utilize it in the best way possible. More …

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US government reporting of Sustainability efforts:

In 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13423 that set Sustainability goals for Federal agencies and focused on making improvements in their environmental, energy and economic performance. The Executive Order outlined the following objectives for the United States:
•    30% reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020;
•    26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020;
•    50% recycling and waste diversion by 2015;
•    95% of all applicable contracts will meet Sustainability requirements;
•    Implementation of the 2030 net-zero-energy building requirement;
•    Implementation of the storm water provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, section 438; and
•    Development of guidance for sustainable Federal building locations in alignment with the Livability Principles put forward by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Is the US government truly Transparent in reporting Sustainability?
Two of the most important tenants in Sustainability reporting are based on integrity and transparency. In 2010, Sustainability reporting was established by the US federal government that outlined the objectives of the status of each objective within each federal agency.  Reporting was completed in January 2011. Within the guidelines, objectives are supposed to be set up for each agency; however, there are number of agencies that did not report objectives for 2010. Those agencies were:
•    Department of Education
•    Department of Housing and Urban Development
•    National Archives and Records Administration
•    Office of Personnel Management
•    Social Security Administration
•    Tennessee Valley Authority
•    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Additionally, three  federal agencies either had broken links or did not provide reporting for their respective areas on the front page of their site. As a citizen, this is an obvious indication that those agencies do not take Sustainability seriously. Those agencies include:
•    Department of Agriculture
•    US Army Corps of Engineers
•    Department of Veterans Affairs

Reporting content, from a business professional viewpoint who has developed, promoted, analyzed, and taken actions based on scorecards and other business dashboards, I find that this format, although simplified, does not provide information about results, issues, or action items to make those objectives satisfactory or “green”. In the business sector, executives and all levels of management, are usually rewarded on the basis of results. It is apparent that the government standards are not set as high. Most managers and executives I know would have communicated clearly that their organization’s need for participation, involvement and ownership of objectives in their respective organizations. There seems to a number of disconnects:
•    A quick review of the consolidated dashboard, indicates that only three federal agencies do not have the yellow or red status on their objectives (which in my experience would make each one of these agencies suspect). My professional experience would indicate that a mix of performance results in each agency would be the norm, rather than the exception.  It is very important to be able to verify and validate the results of any agency.
•    Additionally, it is unbelievable that the Department of Education has no strategy to reduce energy, promote renewable energy, reduce portable water, or have any strategy to reduce petroleum use in their vehicles. This lack information would imply that their executive team is not in control of their agency, nor has a sense of urgency.
•    Also, it is unbelievable the Office of Personnel Management was void of three strategies for reduction of energy reduction, in usage of potable water, and the reduction of  fleet petroleum usage. Again, this lack information would imply that their executive team is not in control of their agency, again, does not appear to have a sense of urgency.

When in today’s world, from many federal positions are paid in excess to comparable business positions, it is incumbent on the federal government to do their job properly, accurately, with transparency, and be able to inform citizens of this country. At this point, Sustainability reporting and transparency is only a beginning. However, the implementation of this dashboard tool does not provide the clear answers that everyone needs to address.

Those answers should be able to give all citizens a sense of urgency and action by its government to ensure that today’s practices will not endanger future generations.  This dashboard does not provide a sense of urgency since all the reports are linked to 2010 time frame that was reported in January 2011. In line with that expectation of producing an annual report, I would have expected to see the results of 2011 since we are now in March. The dashboard, published by http://sustainability.performance.gov/, does not provide that consolidation in transparency.

Mr. Obama,  as an American citizen I ask you two basic questions:  Transparency is a key principle in Sustainability reporting. How can you possibly tell the American citizens how well your administration actually performed compared to your seven Sustainability objectives, that were outlined in Executive Order 13423, when you’re reporting mechanism doesn’t provide a consolidation or summary of previous years?  Some agencies are reporting perfect scores. How can any information be utilized when results have not been verified by an outside source such as the General Accounting Office? If not, how can this reporting system declare to have a sense of integrity or transparency? Dr. W. Edwards Deming said; “You can expect what you inspect.”

Next: From the GOP Sustainability: Where’s the beef?

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What’s next? Change Now and Reap Rewards – Part 3 of 3
As mentioned in the previous article, your internal processes are key to identifying your target market to consider and promote sustainability:

1. Every customer is a diamond in the rough, potentially precious. Take GOOD care of each of them, especially the repeat customer.

2. Reevaluate your entire pricing structure. Maintain your margins by market testing increase or decrease pricing strategies.

3. Don’t rely solely on the web. Be proactive and meet the people loyal to your products and services.

4. Evaluate your core business needs. Assess and increase its value. Don’t loose your focus.

5. Managing resources are important and employees are usually the key resource often overlooked. Keep your employees in the communication loop regarding change and how the change process will be implemented.

6. Know your strategic value to the market. Do you provide products and services on cost, quality, flexibility, service timeliness, partner relationship or other areas?

7. A recession is an opportunity to increase the quality of your human resources. Hire quality people for open requirements. Be methodical. Take you time in assessing the candidates. Make the best decision for your company. Remember, change can be a catalyst to improve your organization and morale.

8. Refinement and prototyping extend your knowledge on how your business can be improved. During a recession, your efforts can quickly pay-off when the market opens up, when cost reductions are replaced with productivity, or when new product or service introductions have been postponed.

9. Cash flow is the life beat of your company. Monitor it. Keep you accounts receivable, timely, current and limit bad debts.

10. Cost reduction is important in a recession, but understand the consequences. Know where to reduce. Look for efficiencies in processes. Increase your productivity through reduced costs.

11. Look for strategic investments for they may get a price break during a recession. Focus on new processes, equipment or technology that produces efficiencies, productivity, quality and cost reduction. Most importantly, recognize the project implementation’s lead-time and plan accordingly.

Source: Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC, © 2009, For services: www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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