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The article “The Internet of Things: How CIOs Can Influence the Next Wave of Product Innovation” is a current article on technological issues in a company and it explains how technological advancement in internet is geared to revolutionize human life in a great deal and the role of CIOs in encouraging innovation through the use of internet and other form of communication. This article comprehensively analyzes technological development and innovation which CIO is putting forward to not only improve human life but also improve profitability in doing business. According to Nash, (2010,p.1), “By combining the capabilities of the Web, cloud computing, analytics and tiny intelligent sensors, CIOs can help create wholly new products and services connected to networks and to each other” The article stresses the role of CIOs are strategic and critical in driving technological innovation to the next level. This is because there role is much more of marking and data collection which are letter transformed into product innovation. CIOs role goes beyond keeping the light of IT on in accompany since it encompasses marketing role as well as research Nash, (2010,p.2). This paper takes a critical and a comprehensive analysis of the role of CIOs in influencing innovation in a company. In addition the paper examines the role of IT and internet in the process of globalization and business opportunities
How CIOs can influence innovation
- Making new friends
Networking is one the best way of making and keeping friend and since human being learn from each other, it is through this that CIOs get new concepts and can influence innovation. Interaction and meeting new friend present an opportunity of getting new ideas, technologies as which when adopted bring meaningful change in a company.
- Jumping right in the business
CIOs should be out going individuals who initiate conversations and should never wait to be asked for such communication which can lead to innovations. This strategy is quite important since it saves time and provides faster adoption of new technologies in the market.
- Shaking the pillars
It is the responsibility of CIOs to be ready for change at all times since this will actually improve on the need for innovation in a company.
How to achieve innovation in IT
- Delay the RFP
The innovation goal should be the core and integral factors in outsourcing for innovation and therefore RFP should be delayed for this goal to be achieved.
- Clearly define innovation
According to Nash, (2010), “True innovation might mean continuous process improvement, emerging technology implementation, new best practices, IT transformation or competitive advantage. A clear definition of innovation is required so that the contract will reflect the appropriate financial and other terms associated with it”. In this regard, CIOs should carefully involve all the stakeholders and departmental team in defining the kind of innovation they require.
- Use outsourcers as consultants
This strategy will provide a great opportunity for the IT providers to improve their services which in turn lead to innovation in the field.
- Lock everyone in a room to brain storm
Putting everyone in a room to brain storm on the best way to improve a given IT service provide all stakeholders with opportunity to think and come up with new concepts which in most cases result in innovations.
- Motivate the team in IT department
Motivation is a powerful incentive to innovation and therefore CIOs should all the time work hard towards designing a motivational package to all the team he or she works with so as to keep innovation process on and active.
Marketing concept which strive to build a company a round a profitable satisfaction of customer needs and demands is the most critical key which has helped many companies and different brands to develop in parts of the world. However, the success of these companies and brands is on the other hand pegged on well designed marketing strategies which not only ensures a high rate of product penetration but also ensure that the products compete highly in the market and the role of CIOs in this task is inevitable.
Multi-channel retailing which can be improved by CIOs through several strategies has been defined as the opportunity presented to the same customer to obtain the same product from the same retailer by multiple purchase channels According to Nicholson, Clarke and Blakemore (2002,p.45), this multi-channel marketing strategy attempts to foster the customer’s behavior to be multi-channel. Those companies that obtain part of their sales from two different channels can be classified as having adopted the multi-channel approach as contrasted with the ones whose entire sales volume is generated from the pursuit of a single channel (Nicholson, Clarke and Blakemore, 2002, p. 12)
Many customers use multiple channels during the purchase process such as research, during the purchase process and while obtaining services (Stone, Hobbs and Khaleeli, 2002, p. 74). In this regard, it has been advanced that where organizations decides to adopt a multi-channel strategy in communication and marketing, then attention needs to focus on whether all the channels will be offering similar services or products range and whether they will have all the functional areas. Of paramount importance here is the need to define the role that the various channels are intended to function and the associated interactions, as this helps in the identification and facilitation of both the use and preferences emphasis for the targeted segments.
Several advantages of multi-channel strategies in search of innovation have been presented in literature. According to Lawson, (2001, p. 31), channels have different advantages depending on the type of interaction with the various customers. This point has been buttressed by Souza and Serrentino (2002,p.87) states that customers look for different channels depending on the kinds of products, the moment of purchase and the prevailing motivation. The researchers have broadly categorized these behaviors within three domains of retail emotion where the experience of purchasing performs a fundamental role, retail reason in which case price is the overriding factor of the purchase and finally, retail convenience.
According to Lawson (2001,p.94), “the critical factors for the accomplishment of a multi-channel strategy encompasses the complete integration of the brand, product position, inventory forecast, price, logistics and the expectations of the customers.” As Lawson (2001, p.12) points out, the adoption of IT in marketing and information collection from the clients brings positive results such as increases in sales volumes, costs reductions and increased levels of operations. Integrated channels in the opinions of Stone et.al (2002, p.49) also affects positively brand loyalty and customer’s life time values and this is possible with appropriate technological innovation.
CIOs role is quite significant for a wave of innovation in companies in this era of technological advancement. This is only possible when they are well equipped and ready to implement strategies which are geared towards innovation. This will go along way in making the companies competitive as well as drive economic development in a country and globally. Information Technology plays a pivotal role in the success of a company and the economy at large. Towards this it is prudent for CIOs to improve embrace change which are geared towards innovation as impetus to scaling up economies of scale in accompany.