CIO Straight Talk - Issue 3 - 45
With the support of the CEO, we cancelled more than half of the projects in the pipeline.
And I appointed transformation directors and embedded them in the business. Now,
we’re running at twice the pace we were eighteen months ago.
Learning to Get out of the Way
Today, IT is delivering transformative systems faster
than ever. A good example is our global rights management system. In the music industry, it typically takes 28
days to deliver a digital product for download. By
implementing a single database of all music assets,
along with the associated and extremely complex rights
information, EMI is now able to do that in half an hour.
We delivered the prototype for the global rights
management system in 90 days, and it took seven
months from the planning stages to delivering the first
single to iTunes.
Our Digital Marketing and Consumer Insight teams
have developed more-effective ways to connect artists
with fans who like — or might like — their music. We
are correlating information about individual fans who
have registered on artists’ websites and Facebook pages
with broader listening preferences and demographic
information collected through fan surveys, then relating
the insights to buying and listening patterns derived
from sales and other data.
We have put in place a portfolio of systems and tools on
a single global campaign platform to gather this information, one that allows us to tailor our marketing efforts
to maximize the outcome for the artist. Since putting in
place this platform and new processes, response rates
and fan engagement have increased dramatically.
• Transformation isn’t just about doing
something new; it’s about making innovation
• Before IT can partner with the business on any
strategic initiative, it must make sure it has
excellent service levels, project delivery rates,
and technology architecture.
• The role of IT is to show the
business what’s possible instead
of pushing new systems and
CIO Straight Talk
We are also taking a leadership position in digital
marketing. Our job from an IT point of view is to
support that work without getting in the way. That is,
our role is to show the business the transformation that
is possible and partner with it to make those changes,
rather than pushing new systems and processes onto the
business. Business ownership of the change is the key to
lasting transformation. For example, we aligned our
tech team around the business units driving this change.
One result is our unique CRM system for fans. It’s easy
for a music company to collect e-mail addresses of
people interested in a particular band or kind of music.
But there’s an awful lot more information available.
We don’t have a huge IT organization — there are 130
of us. But we have at least that many professionals
supporting us in our supplier universe. We get to leverage the standards and insights of companies like HCL
that have done this in other industries and can bring that
knowledge to bear on the music industry. Music is a
global industry, but it’s a small community. Our partnerships give us a reach we wouldn’t otherwise have,
bringing us innovative ideas and technical capabilities
that we can mash up to create something unique and