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Customer Focused - How Can You Walk The Talk?

June 13, 2019


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By Newton Braga

Almost every institution and organisational service units recognise the importance of being customer focused. Be it due to external competitive forces or the need to deliver services internally (e.g. IT, HR, Finance, etc.) to support business efficiency, strategies and goals.

Creating a real customer-centric culture is recognised as critical factor for success. But what does customer-centric actually mean?

For me it means empathising with your customers, to fully understand their desires and mostly important their needs, to then evaluate the feasibility of meeting them in the foreseeing future and how viable and sustainable it would be to become a sustainable model. The intersection of these three analyses will help you to innovate to develop and improve services, processes, products and strategies (see figure below).

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Source: IDEO U

Using the above foundations of design thinking will ensure the engagement with your customer basis is a reality, and your organisation is really walking the talking when it says it is customer focused.

But such process does not have an end in itself. It is a never-ending journey, where you are constantly engaging with your customer to gather information, deepening your understanding of their requirements, pain points and strategies,...

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Technology is transforming business. So why I.T. is not changing?

October 28, 2018 Newton Braga

Digital disruption is present everywhere. From start-up companies disrupting established companies and business models, to organisations going through internal changes, with technology improving business efficiency, supporting R&D and new product and service development and improvement of customer experience and retention, digital transformation is a paramount change to be faced everywhere.
But while positioned right in the middle of this “digital disruption storm”, some I.T. organisations are hardly changing. While Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are required to change their skills and priorities to survive the digital disruption wave, some CIOs still have their I.T. organisation tied up to old habits and structure, due to possible some organisational circumstances.
In many organisations the CIO is not recognised as a member of the executive team, reporting to another executive member, possibly the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The I.T. department is, in most of these cases, viewed as a cost centre, and the CIO is constantly required to reduce costs, centralise all the services to leverage the benefits of sharing the delivery of services across the business units.

The reporting line can influence on where the CIOs focus the I.T. department’s efforts and priorities, and it can cause a disconnection between...


Tags: cio, digital transformation, disruption, strategic, technology, transformation

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Does your digital strategy need a strategy?

December 3, 2017

By Newton Braga MBA/BEng

A lot has been said in the media in general about digital strategy, digital transformation and so forth.

The old information technology (IT) strategy has now evolved in most organisations to become a digital strategy. But many organisations have failed to make this transition beyond the renaming of the strategy paper, and some digital strategies are simply a renamed IT strategy, with focus in technology and not business digital transformation.

In the past we had seen IT strategic plans mainly focused in technology and developed in isolation of an overall strategy. The IT strategy then moved to align with the business, but nowadays a Chief Information Officer (CIO), or a Chief Digital Officer (CDO), needs to play a leading role in business digital initiatives – aligning with the business requirements is no longer sufficient.

But how a CIO or a CDO can move out of the technology cocoon to engage and lead other business units in their digital initiatives? Maybe a strategy is needed to develop a business digital strategy.

The CIO/CDO first needs to understand how the business works, how the organisation is structured, what are its core capabilities and value chains. With this thorough...


Tags: #cdo, #cio, #digital, #digitalstrategy, #digitaltransformation, #strategy

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Disrupting the disruptor

November 15, 2017

By Newton Braga MBA/BEng

Digital disruptor can, in a blink of an eye, force well-established companies to change the way they do business, or even put them out of business.

Industries that have not been digitally disrupted are rarer than those that have. Telecommunications, taxi services, entertainment / TV, newspapers are some of the industries heavily impacted by digital disruption in the past, and new disrupted businesses are joining them as new technology reaches areas such as on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning, peer-to-peer money lending, app-based waste collection and courier services, mobile based health sensor, online estate agents and bitcoin.

The hotel industry in Australia is obtaining some success fighting one of its main digital disruptors, the Online Travel Agency (OTA) sector.

OTAs charge a fee for each booking ranging from 12-25%. It can be collected from the hotel chain only, which is done by most of the OTAs, or split between the hotel and guest. OTAs collect commissions from the hotels only, leaving the client with the impression they do not charge any fee on top of the accommodation costs. The table below shows the fees charged by OTAs to guests and/or hotels.

OTAs used to have parity clauses in...


Tags: #businesstransformation, #cio, #digitaldisruption, #disruption

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The Future CIO or no-future CIO?

October 1, 2015

The Future CIO or no-future CIO?by Newton Braga

Businesses are constantly changing, digital disruption is inherent within different industries, and CIO / IT leaders are struggling to be relevant and agile to respond to increased business demands for IT innovation, digital transformation and responsiveness while maintaining proper governance of IT within an enterprise.

Information technology (IT) within organisations was in the 1970s a centralised data-processing department, with straightforward governance and structure. As the delivery of benefits to the enterprise increased, IT continuously became unable to meet the growing demand, as it enabled innovation, agility, lower cost, interoperability and leveraged intellectual capital.

By the 1980s enterprises were developing into groups of profit-centred business units and IT was also broken up, creating duplicated effort and in many instances, leading to incompatible, non-integrated technologies across the business. A federated IT organisation was born, with part of IT centralised and part remaining within the business units. The all present question could never be responded once for all: which activities should be centralised and which to decentralise?

Exacerbating the problem above, the IT organisation was, for most of the times, structured in technology silos, not understood by the business, leading to multiple handoffs across IT units, and as the IT...


Tags: business, cio, strategy

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