Readers Respond to John Taschek's May 16 commentary "CIO's: Guilty of CRM!"
I have read your CIOs: Guilty of CRM!
article and completely agree on
the sad state of CRM failures in the market place. I adamantly disagree,
however, that the CIO is the root cause of this failure. Any CIO will
fail in the deployment of any enterprise-wide initiative CRM, ERP, etc.,
if these initiatives are driven by the IT organization or his strategy.
Credible CIOs, unlike CTOs, are charged with ensuring that the IT
vision and strategy is driven and aligned with the goals and objectives
of the organization. Successful CRM requires the entire organization to
understand how each function and process impacts the customer. Unless
CRM is used as a tool in support of broader goal of improved service and
in turn market share or market differentiation, it is merely a software
Where most CRM and ERP systems fail is in the organizations ability to
support (people, time and money) the definition of the business process
that they desire to develop, acknowledgment of the current process and
people and a clearly defined plan of how the organization while be
transformed to support this. Simply stated, for CRM to succeed it must be
driven by the CEO or president. I fully admit that many CIOs have
gotten caught up in the limelight of Siebel, SAP and the perceived
glamor of CRM. I fully admit that there should be systems and
infrastructure architects to strategies and execute the best technical
The CIOs role to the CFO is to communicate the value created by the
IT organization and fight to ensure that in the day of "just enough is
ok" IT investment environment that budgets are not slashed further. Your
heads in the sand if you think right enterprise solution is to allow
functional organization to pursue their own course with CRM type
solutions. I greatly respect your technical opinion, but perhaps you need
to spend some time explaining to the investment analysts covering your
publicly traded stock why your SGA numbers are through the roof, while
your market share has diminished. Spend some time talking to the board
of directors why each and every technology investment must deliver
honest and real value. Perhaps you re still living in the la la land of
dot-crashed dom where the king CTO dictated infrastructure and
technology. Revenue, whats that ?
I loved your article in that you truly pissed me off and forced me to
rethink what is truly needed to ensure IT success.
Shawn W. Knox