The 3 key areas where the CIO can really make an impact – Interview with Stephen Little, Global CIO of XEROX corp.

by Michael Ghezzo

Stephen Little, CIO of XEROX – Digitalization and rapid changes in Business force companies to act fast and to strengthen their innovation skills. The CIO role changes from providing commodity services for the business Units to being a true partner in the roll out of new ideas and business models.

Stephen Little is Global CIO of XEROX Corporation. In our Blog interview he tells us, how he deals with trending topics as cl 
oud, social media and mobile and how he sees the role of the CIO in the coming years.

What role does the CIO have in the value chain of the Company?

 A pivotal, strategic role. IT touches every aspect of business. From keeping business operations running smoothly and securely to simplifying global business processes that improve the customer experience. The CIOs role has evolved to become catalysts of change. But they can’t do it alone. True transformation happens when business leaders trust each other, co-develop strategies that makes sense, then partner together to execute and deliver results.

 CIOs see the big picture. They make decisions based on long-term results, versus point in time solutions. This is critical as market demands change and business models evolve.

What are the 3 key areas where the CIO can make an impact?

 Deliver global business process automation and efficiency through strong business partnerships and governance
 Reduce information security risk
 Provide disciplined program management and execution across the enterprise

How do cloud, mobile and social media affect the company and the CIO´s role?

 Cloud. For me, cloud is a deployment option where it makes sense. It has to work for the business long term and support the global growth strategy for the enterprise. Based on the strategic fit, it’s a business enabler for us – delivering speed, flexibility and cost advantages.

 Mobile and Social Media. IT enables mobile and social media solutions globally. From solution sourcing to implementation and ongoing service delivery and support. Employees bring their devices to work, and we help them connect those devices securely. In terms of social media, it’s a game changer in remaining relevant with our customers and fostering internal collaboration to improve productivity. IT is the lever to make it happen.
Back to the importance of partnership. Marketing must be on the cusp of improving the client experience, understanding the buyers’ journey and remaining relevant. That means that we must work together to ensure important customer data is managed effectively and securely. It also requires an ongoing partnership between the CIO and CMO to deliver cost effective IT solutions that enable their business, without added complexity and customization.
What does it take for the CIO to lever innovation?

 It takes commitment. My approach was to initiate and fund a program that fosters innovative thinking and results in IT. We provide grant awards to individuals who demonstrate a viable business case and demonstrate that their solution will address a core challenge or need the business faces. Winners are encouraged to collaborate across the company to execute on their concepts. We advocate continued effort – fail fast if it’s not working, and find new ways to achieve the desired outcomes. 

 There is a formal partnership in place with our global Research and Development group/Innovation organization in the company. We collaborate together to test new products and solutions for market readiness and in turn, deliver additional value from our IT innovation program…handing off projects that are ready to go to the next level.

 Being innovative doesn’t always have to be in technology. Very often, it is in finding new, creative approaches to solving complex business challenges. We see this within our large scale business transformation initiatives, where we look at existing areas of investment to build out our capabilities.

Stephen Little is Keynote Speaker at the 8thConfare CIO SUMMIT on March 25th in Vienna – Meet him and 300 more IT executives at www.ciosummit.at

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