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What are the characteristics of CIOs considered competitive differentiator?

Sunil Shah | July 22, 2014
Elevating your stature to competitive differentiator status doesn't have to be an exercise in the black arts. CIO research demystifies what it take to become a competitive differentiator.

Those are not the same challenges faced by the majority of Indian CIOs who are considered costs centers by their businesses. Their top challenges (they are tied) are: Deploying too many technologies and applications; and delayed decisions from their businesses.

Their Cloud Outlook Differs.  Maybe a bit obviously, CIOs seen as competitive differentiators tend to work in enterprises that have high levels of virtualization. Forty percent of competitive differentiator CIOs say the level of virtualization within their organizations is over 50 percent. In comparison, only half (26 percent) of cost center CIOs can say the same.

The majority--26 percent--of cost center CIOs also believe that cloud computing, the public flavor, is today's most over-hyped technology. Most competitive differentiator CIOs--32 percent--say big data is.

More CIOs who are considered competitive differentiators use--or plan to use--hybrid cloud models. Just under 65 percent of Indian CIOs who are seen as competitive differentiators use--or plan to use--hybrid cloud models--compared to 50 percent of cost center CIOs.

What they looking to gain by moving to a hybrid cloud also differs. The majority of competitive differentiators--54 percent--believe the hybrid cloud will offer their companies better security. Cost center CIOs, on the other hand, see the hybrid cloud as a way to do two things: Cut costs, and lower downtime.

When comparing public cloud service providers with traditional outsourcers and third-party suppliers, cost center CIO say that the risk are greater with cloud providers. Those in the competitive differentiators camp believe the risk are about the same.

So what's the top concern of cost center CIOs with the public cloud? A full 50 percent say it's the unauthorized access to, or a leak of their customers' information. In comparison, 80 percent of competitive differentiator CIOs say vendor lock-in is their largest concern.

Scarily though, the majority of cost center CIOs--50 percent--aren't aware of their company's legal obligation where cloud computing is concerned. In comparison, 53 percent of competitive differentiator CIOs say they are aware.

Their Datacenter Challenges Differ.  The single biggest datacenter pain point for cost center CIOs is the fact that single points of failure increase the level of risk. For CIOs seen as competitive differentiators, it's single-window infrastructure and application management.

The top factor leading to datacenter complexity, says competitive differentiator CIOs, is the increasing number of business-critical applications, whereas for cost center CIOs it's the growth of data volumes.

Their Business Intelligence Outlook Differs.  CIOs were asked to rate the level of interest within their organizations in leading-edge BI technologies (1 is "not interested" and 5 is "extremely interested").

The majority of CIOs seen as competitive differentiators, worked in companies that scored advanced analytics (predictive/statistical analysis, etc.) a full 5, or extremely interested. The majority of CIOs seen as cost centers worked in companies that scored it 4.


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