CIOs Should Be Their Company’s First Customers, by Peter High in CIO Insight Article

August 13, 2014
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Peter High


Except from the article:

Gary Marshall, CIO of SunGard Availability Services, believes the CIOs of technology companies should be their company’s first customers. These CIOs may seem to be in the unenviable position of being surrounded by people who think they can do the CIO’s job better than he or she can. However, Marshall makes the point that the savvy CIO is well positioned to shape the products and services of their company by using them, offering critical and timely feedback, and then by becoming an advocate with the company’s customers, especially if those customers are also CIOs. Marshall spoke with CIO Insight contributor Peter High about why every company today should act like a technology company, IT’s value proposition, the CIO’s evolving role and more.

CIO Insight: You’ve long been a believer that the CIO of a tech-centric company should be the company’s first customer. Why?

Gary Marshall: From the CIO’s perspective, being the first customer and a partner with the internal group means that you’ll be their best and worst customer. Best, because you are committed to the product’s success and won’t walk away. Worst, because you know the product well and will test it to its limit and try to break it. Therefore, CIOs come at it from the perspective of the customer advocate; this is useful feedback before putting the product in front of actual customers.

As a customer advocate, you can bring a sense of production to a product and service. Things in development are usually functionally tested, but not scale or stress tested. CIOs and IT members spend many hours per day with the infrastructure and product portfolio in one way or another and, therefore, are uniquely poised to really test upcoming products and services.

To read the remainder of the article, please visit CIO Insight.

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