Fifty-two per cent of European Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) and Chief Financial Officers (CFO) believe Chief Technology Officers (CTF) and Chief Information Officers (CIO) will be their closest allies in driving future corporate profits and increasing margins for their organisations. Forty-one per cent have already begun to align themselves more with the technology department in order to boost their effectiveness in their own role.
These are some of the key findings in an in-depth report from profit optimisation experts, Vendavo, and academic Patrick Reinmoeller, Professor of Strategic Management at Cranfield School of Management, based on a poll of 200 C-Level executives from across Europe.
While it’s clear that many of the CMOs and CFOs questioned view technology as strategically important for driving future margin increases, there is some dissatisfaction with the insight they currently have. The research showed that the ability to manage margin effectively is directly linked to company performance above market expectations, yet many organisations admit they do not currently have the tools to do so. Nearly four in ten respondents (thirty-eight per cent) would not know how to increase margin tomorrow.
Those organisations which are delivering relevant up to the minute pricing data into the hands of their sales teams are more likely to be performing ahead of market expectations than those that are not – fifty-five per cent that use real-time data are performing ahead of market expectations.
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The C-Suite suggests that their organisations’ sales force is also in need of better data. Forty-three per cent believe their sales teams still use gut feeling to make pricing decisions when closing a sale, while sixty-seven per cent rely on the relationship with the customer.
Patrick Reinmoeller, Professor of Strategic Management at Cranfield School of Management said, “Pressure on margins has never been greater, while global competition has never been tougher. Businesses have to build new capabilities to understand the market and their customers, pick up the weak signals, make the right calls and swiftly align resources to seize emerging opportunities or avert threats. The best performing CFOs and CMOs are already using IT to influence how strategies are developed. Providing intuitive tools that offer those making the critical judgments with better insights based on better data is going to be core to raising the level of how organisational knowledge is created and deployed.”
“CTOs and CIOs have an immensely important role to play in optimising margins and driving corporate profits,” commented Robert Irwin, Vice-President, Business Consulting, Vendavo Europe. “Their colleagues on the senior management table are currently struggling to make sense of the data that surrounds their business and they’re looking to IT to help – not just in putting the right systems in place to capture and serve up the data, but in developing the processes that will enable the broader C-Suite to make the decisions on which the future of their organisation could rest.”