CIO Digest: May 4, 2001

Salary Strongholds,, April 30.

CIN Spin: IT salaries post strong gains despite
economic travails.

There’s good news out this week regarding the pay of
IT professionals: Salaries continue to rise, despite
the troubles facing the industry.

The upbeat report comes from InformationWeek, which
released its annual IT salary survey covering nearly
20,000 IT staffers and managers this week. Compiled
from an online poll taken in February and March, the
report says median compensation for IT managers was
$97,000, 10% higher than $88,000 in 2000. For
staffers, median compensation hit $71,000, up 8.5%
from $65,000 last year.

Who are among the best paid? InformationWeek found
that wireless infrastructure and enterprise resource
planning professionals are among the best paid, along
with experts in Internet and intranet design,
development and management.

There was a downside to the survey. Namely, worries about job
security and future prospects continue to escalate. As InformationWeek notes,
employees and employers know that current pay rates
reflect job market conditions from a year ago, when
the job pool was a bit smaller.

According to many respondents, it’s taking them longer
to find new jobs, and salaries tend to be lower than
last year.

Even CIOs are feeling the pinch when it comes to their
pay. InformationWeek cites a forthcoming survey by
Janco, showing that CIO compensation has been flat over the last
six months–for the first time since 1990–and fewer
CIO jobs are available as more of them stay put.

Complete article here.

The Truth About CRM, CIO Magazine, May 1, 2001

CIN Spin: CRM implementations take money, time–and
most importantly–a good plan.

It’s not for a lack of good reasons that business
executives are spending millions on
customer-relationship management software.

Use of the customer-focused software has flourished
because of its ability to help sales people,
call-center operators, customer database managers and
others get a better handle on customers, foster their
loyalty and close more sales.

Experts are quoted here saying that up to 70%
of CRM projects don’t produce measurable business
benefits. Still, spending on CRM is growing fast.
Stats cited from Meta Group indicate that the CRM
market will grow from about $20 million this year to
$46 billion by 2003. Siebel is the leading vendor,
chased by competitors such as Clarify, Epiphany, Onyx
Software and Oracle.

But the rise of CRM hasn’t been without its troubles,
as this article in CIO magazine takes great lengths to
point out. For every successful CRM implementation,
there’s a mission gone bad. Users refuse to adopt the
new technology. Costs spiral out of control. Many
companies end up stuck with technology that isn’t
being put to its best use.

And stuck in the middle–between CEOs and vendors–are
CIOs, whose job it is to oversee the CRM project and
make it work. They stand to take some credit or some
blame, depending on how the implementation goes.

OK, so the hype hasn’t lived up to the promises for
every company. But how can CIOs do their best to make
sure CRM adoption doesn’t fail? Here, according to the
article, are a few points to remember:

  • CIOs must align closely with the CEO and other
    business executives to get a clear picture of what
    their goals are for CRM.

  • The CRM project must be sold to the end users–
    focus on them. CIO notes that sales force
    members in the field, for instance, are often reluctant to adopt
    new technology. Unless they’re convinced it’s a good
    thing, they might not put the technology to its best

  • Hire a qualified and certified systems integrator
    to help implement the CRM system and be ready to
    explicitly articulate you company’s needs. Or, as one
    exec points out: Get a consultant before you buy a CRM

Full article here.

The Missing Link: What You Need to Know About
Supply-Chain Technology, eCompany, May 2001

CIN Spin: Done right, supply-chain management may be
a silver bullet for saving big money.

If you haven’t tackled a CRM installation lately (see
above story summary) odds are you’ve spent your time
and the company’s money on that other silver bullet
for efficiency and cost savings: an Internet-based
supply-chain management system.

eCompany tackles the hot topic in a lengthy overview
of its benefits and provides some stories tallying
success and failures. (Big failure: Nike in March said
it missed quarterly estimates by a third because its
supply-chain management software wasn’t working
properly. The lesson: Integrating your existing
systems and your partners’ systems is a difficult

The theory of supply-chain management is simple
–connect manufacturers with suppliers to save
money, and make money by crunching numbers to help them
coordinate production, reduce inventory levels,
analyze what’s selling (and what isn’t), and gear up to
meet sales trends.

If you’re installing such a system, you’re not alone.
eCompany cites AMR Research statistics that show
companies will spend $7.8 billion this year buying and
installing the systems, a 45% jump over last
year. Leading vendors include Commerce One, i2
Technologies, NextLinx and SeeCommerce. Still, just
one in five Fortune 1000 companies have the latest
technology in place, according to a source.

The article points out that the systems can be costly,
are difficult to get working, and could be disastrous
if not done right. (When Nike’s troubles surfaced,
vendor i2’s stock dropped 22%.)

But the systems hold promise (i2 says
that by 2005 its 1,000 customers will save a combined
$75 billion).

The article gets at the central truth of supply-chain
management systems: In the Internet economy, it’s a
big way companies are winning in the battle against
their competitors. The other truth: Missteps can doom
an implementation and reverberate far beyond your own

Complete article here.

Optimistic Forecasts Fuel Wireless Hype, April 30

CIN Spin: CIOs beware: Rosy forecasts of technology
adoption rates may put you in a difficult position.

When analysts make predictions, they’re essentially
trying to hit a moving target, projecting the future
use and adoption of a technology or service based on
current data and expected demand.

But when it comes to predicting something like 3G (or
third-generation) wireless adoption, it’s more like
trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded with
one hand tied behind your back.

As Computerworld points out, there are zero customers
on 3G systems in the United States right now. But that
hasn’t kept analysts from making rosy predictions
about its growth in the coming decade.

The predictions, as expected, are wildly divergent.
Will usage hit 1.3 billion subscribers by 2010, as one
analyst predicts? Will it be as low as the 744 million
another estimates? The truth is, no one knows.

This all may mean nothing to CIOs, but it should,
Computerworld says. A CEO reading about such
predictions related to mobile commerce may be misled
to pressure their IT executives to “dive into the
hyped technology,” as one analyst is quoted.

Just when m-commerce takes off is still open to
conjecture and to numerous factors. A 3G technology
standard still hasn’t been determined and users of
current wireless Web devices complain about costly
services, difficult-to-use devices and slow service.

In the meantime, CIOs who might be faced with such a
mandate from their CEOs might want to practice
breaking the news to them gently.

Complete article here.