“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” — Jack Welch

In today’s fast-paced business environment, every organization is constantly trying to stay one step ahead of the competition. One way to do that is by finding new and innovative ways to partner to gain new resources, skills, and technologies, often outside of traditional M&A deal-making. These alliances are becoming increasingly digital in nature, placing more onus on the CIO.

“Some of the terms we think about when we look at partners have changed and evolved because of a digital lens that we apply versus just buying a traditional asset,” James Swanson, CIO and digital transformation lead at Bayer CropScience, told the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services for a new briefing paper sponsored by Citrix.

According to the paper, acquiring new digital capabilities (43 percent) and the need for next-gen technology (42 percent) are on par with traditional reasons for M&A events, like expanding into new geographical markets or industries (both 42 percent).

But, as I’ve said before, for modern CIOs, success is not about the technology — it’s about using technology to drive business innovation and value. And it’s about efficiently expanding into new markets and regions. In other words, success is defined by strategic technology investments that enable the business and drive innovation.

The Harvard Business Review Analytic Services briefing paper dives into why, when it comes to global expansion and partnerships, the CIO is perfectly positioned to:

  • Identify and secure strategic possibilities resulting from new technologies
  • Lead the integration of technology, people, and process to ensure the success of new partnerships
  • Become more transformational both inside and outside the organization

As Swanson puts it, “Digital transformation is really business transformation.” And the CIO is a key player in making that transformation real. Be sure to catch the full briefing paper here.