The editors at CIO Magazine recently interviewed Worksoft CEO Jim Kent. Here are some highlights:
As you talk to CIOs day-to-day, what do you hear them say is coming down from the top?
When CIOs talk to their CEOs, they often get the question, “What can you do to help drive growth?” CEOs are looking for top line revenue growth, and it’s the CIO’s challenge to deliver the technology that enables it. Reaching more customers, shortening the sales cycle, making the organization more responsive, using information better – that’s all part of it. Today every business process is really a “digital business process” because of the heavy reliance on technology. That puts the CIO at the center of business success like never before.
How has that changed the role of the CIO today?
In one sense, the CIO needs to have a “split personality.” On the one hand, their job is to be rock solid. Every business process and every enterprise system needs to work. Not just sometimes, but all the time every day. Applications like their ERP system are core to the business, and a software glitch that disrupts the business is unacceptable. So this side of the job is to be utterly predictable, safe, and reliable.
On the other hand, CIOs need to be agile and fast. They need to bring the innovation that’s going to drive business growth to their business users as quickly as possible — because it’s going to help their business win in the marketplace. Things like cloud, mobile, web apps, and big data. The tough part is that so much is changing so quickly. Gartner recently said that there’s been more technology change in the last 3 years than in the last 20 years combined, and I believe that. This rate of change is the new normal.
So CIOs need to be rock solid and agile – at the same time!
What are the challenges involved in achieving a balance between being agile and being reliable?
It really becomes a question of how you manage technology risk. Companies have so many new technologies, upgrade projects, and enterprise system changes on a routine basis that CIOs need to change the way they think about risk. Let’s face it, all this change is risky. Applications can break, business processes can fail, the business can be disrupted, and bad things will happen. You need to think about your ability to manage risk as a competency. Accepting and managing risk is essential, but ignoring these risks can be tragic. The good news is that solutions exist today to help you manage change and manage these new risks.
How can Worksoft help CIOs innovate faster to meet business demands while still ensuring they enable rock-solid business execution?
The answer is automation. Worksoft’s automated business process validation platform is the most efficient way to keep up with the pace of change. When technology changes, processes need to be tested and checked from start to finish, and Worksoft allows you to validate every business process end-to-end. It’s simply not possible to validate every system change and every process change manually anymore.
Automation replaces slow and costly manual effort and greatly accelerates every enterprise system project. In a recent IDC study, 12 global firms that have adopted Worksoft business process validation reported faster project timelines by 5.3 weeks on average, 38% shorter testing cycles, and 43% fewer customer impacting defects – with a total NPV of more than $11 million per enterprise!
That’s why we are seeing automated business process validation is becoming the new standard at many Fortune 1000 firms. It’s becoming essential to ensure that all enterprise systems and interfaces work seamlessly together every time.
Worksoft automation dramatically improves quality and lowers risk, because automation lets you validate more of your business processes more quickly and completely. It also accelerates every enterprise system project in the CIO’s portfolio and reduces backlogs, because you can do more with the same staff. In other words, it helps companies put the latest growth-driving technologies into the hands of business users faster and with lower risk – which gets to the heart of the CIO’s challenge.