The CIO and CMO to form dynamic partnership that will enable customer-led innovation in the future

More collaboration between the CIO and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is essential to enable a future of customer-led innovation.

By 2020, customers will be the main source of new product or service ideas, with online communities in second and R&D in third place.  That is according to 30 per cent of business leaders across Financial Services, Education, Public Sector, IT and Manufacturing industries, interviewed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.¹

This is in contrast to today’s perception, where customers are the second main source of ideas and the R&D team is in first place². However, the main source of ideas for improvement of business processes will continue to be employees, with 34 per cent of business leaders placing them in the top spot now, and predicting that this will still be the case in 2020.¹

These new sources of ideas will generate increasing volumes of digital data, with predictions that the volume of digital data generated will increase by 40 per cent each year². And large volumes of hard copy or paper information are still used as a part of a business’s critical processes, with 43 per cent of European organisations relying on manual processing for their business critical document transactions³ .  Managing this data will be a challenge for businesses, so it’s clear that significant business advantage can be gained through closer collaboration between the CIO and CMO. 

To benefit from this new era of customer led innovation, it is essential that the CIO and CMO work together to streamline business information processes. 

Some of the technology required to do so is already inside almost every organisation today. Businesses have become used to multifunction devices that print, copy and scan documents.  However, few are using these to their full potential or realise the central role these devices can play in building innovative information processes. By coupling Managed Document Services (a service that manages how information enters, travels through and exits an organisation) and the right software, these devices are transformed into a communication hub that connects to ERP systems, managing the information that is entered, stored, shared, and distributed inside and outside the organisation.

These devices can digitise critical hard copy documents, transfer information directly to a central server or file, recognise text from documents to make them easy to search, and even convert documents easily into different formats – for example from a pdf into an excel spreadsheet. Confidential data is secure, with the ability to trace, restrict or audit any changes or copies made.

The end result is:

  • A winning, streamlined information process that more effectively enables customer-led product innovation and employee-led process innovation
  • Customers are influencing future products, and organisations are better equipped to manage the increase in information
  • Businesses are more agile in responding to customer and market needs and can focus on generating business value from the data, instead of worrying about information overload

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[1] Economist  Intelligence Unit.  Executive Summary - Frontiers of disruption: The next decade of technology in business.  Sponsored by Ricoh.  October 2011. 

[2] McKinsey Global Institute.  Big Data: The Next Frontier for innovation, competition and productivity.  May 2011.

[3] Coleman Parkes Research, The Ricoh Process Efficiency Index, June 2011

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