Convincing Employees to Use New Technology

Harvard Business Review

Almost any enterprise you can think of, no matter the industry or sector, is trying (or being pressured by competitors) to use new technology to harness the vast new oceans of data being generated by smartphones, sensors, digital cameras, GPS devices, and myriad other sources of information originating from customers and markets. We’ve spent an awful lot of money on technology, but I still see people working in the old way,” complained the CFO of a large hospitality company.


How One CMO Revamped Her Role

Harvard Business

At one point, the CEO indicated that he would know that the right shift had occurred when the CFO, chief strategy officer, and other C-level leaders were seeking the CMO’s advice on strategic business problems. We’re working on a model for the ROI of a technology dollar, versus a marketing dollar, versus a sales dollar, so we can make trade-off decisions. Don Farrall/Getty Images. When she first saw the email, she thought she was about to be fired.

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How CEOs Can Keep Their Analytics Programs from Being a Waste of Time

Harvard Business

The findings show that fewer than half of analytics programs met initial return-on-investment (ROI) goals. But poor ROI is only part of the story. This is about more than technology. As one financial services CFO told us, “Our mental models were so rigid that even how we thought about data itself needed to be challenged. Paul Garbett for HBR.

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What If Google Had a Hedge Fund?

Harvard Business Review

Every CEO, CMO, CFO, and business unit leader should ask themselves these questions: If I decided to launch a hedge fund based solely on the data our business generates, what kind of financial opportunities immediately suggest themselves? Conversely, figuring out how to maximize ROI on terabytes and gigabytes can't help but force leadership to reevaluate how orders of magnitude more data should make their business more valuable. Finance Google Information & technology

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When It Pays to Think Like a Finance Manager

Harvard Business Review

Everyone always wants new equipment — new computers or other hot technologies. From our point of view, in other words, most people use ROI analysis as a way to justify something they really want to do anyway. The two founding partners were both engineers who loved technology. Several years ago, when I was serving as the company’s CFO, one of founders came to me and said, “Joe, I would like to buy a new three-dimensional printer.”


The Worst Failure of All Is Wasting a Failure

Harvard Business Review

The CEO and CFO responded with, "A failure to hit ROI and NPV targets." To state that it didn't hit ROI, or whatever the metric is, doesn't answer the question. In an earlier post , we set out a three-part framework for innovation success: track three kinds of failures (misalignment with corporate will, with current capabilities or technologies, or with market needs/dynamics). This blog is co-authored with Jay F. Terwilliger ( and Mark H.

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Shifting Finance from Controlling to Improving

Harvard Business Review

Consider for example CFO Ric Magnuson of Group Health Cooperative , a nonprofit health care system in Seattle with 10,000 employees, who started out as a skeptic on the process improvement activities his company launched in 2008. Getting the CFO on board is key. CFO Tim Olson of ThedaCare , a healthcare system in Wisconsin, went through a similar conversion. CFO Ric Magnuson had a personal coach working with him for seven months.

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IT Doesn't Matter (to CEOs)

Harvard Business Review

In 2003 Nicholas Carr wrote a provocative article for HBR titled " IT Doesn''t Matter ," in which he stated: "IT is best seen as the latest in a series of broadly adopted technologies that have reshaped industry over the past two centuries — from the steam engine and the railroad to the telegraph and the telephone to the electric generator and the internal combustion engine. Nor do they understand the CIO''s role or, typically, the technologies that the company deploys.


Does Your CEO Really Get Data Security?

Harvard Business Review

How about this, the boardroom version of Sophie''s Choice: "Who would you rather fire, the CFO or the CSO?". We''re not a technology firm." "We You can survive a recession by making a smaller or cheaper version of your product and appealing to a downsized consumer, but it''s a lot tougher to survive after your key technology is stolen by an "advanced persistent threat" — an entity that subjects your company to advanced cyber-attacks over a period of time until a breach occurs.


A Step-by-Step Plan to Improve CMO-COO Collaboration

Harvard Business Review

Coordinating the infrastructure, technology, and messaging in a way that appears seamless and fluid to the customer is, to be blunt, a logistical nightmare. Delivering on journeys requires many different parts of the organization to come together, such as working with the CIO on the technology implications of developing journeys, and providing the CFO with hard ROI data on customer journey investments.