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Introduction

FedEx is an international company that specializes in offering its clients top-notch business services, which include transport and ecommerce. It is a highly respected brand that makes up to 32 billion dollars yearly and its operations are characterized by massive collaborations with other respected companies of the world.

The FedEx company boasts of an employee base of up to 260,000 employees who are very dedicated towards its far-reaching success. The staffs of FedEx are highly professional and focus on meeting the customer’s needs with a positive attitude and high ethics (FedEx 2010).

The FedEx Company has received many awards for its top performance and is among the world’s most trusted companies. FedEx has a large market base with its services being enjoyed in up to 220 countries all over the world though its main market is in the United States. Their services are familiar with a majority due to its convenience that includes reliability and promptness and people looking at speed deliveries can trust FedEx to offer them fast and safe deliveries which they do via trusted fastest networks (FedEx 2010).

The FedEx Corporation runs under different names according to the type of services it offers and some of these companies under its umbrella include the FedEx trade networks, FedEx express, FedEx custom critical, FedEx ground, FedEx trade networks, FedEx services and FedEx supply chain.

FedEx mission is to provide top notch services to its customers and ensuring that they are highly satisfied by the superior quality of their services. Also to be noted is that FedEx strives to be the best employer through healthy relationships with its employees, suppliers and partners (FedEx 2010).

It also looks at offering its clients the safest and fast deliveries through its highly qualified employees governed by professionalism and ethics. FedEx strategies are in three levels the first one being complete collectively which means that they use one brand name in all the countries where they operate and offer the same high quality services. Their second strategy is to operate independently in an effort to meet their client’s needs which vary from one client to another. (FedEx 2010).

Their third strategy is to manage collaboratively which means that they gear at working closely as a team to promote healthy and lasting relationships with the clients, its staff as well as its investors. FedEx values include diversity among its staff, offering world class services, innovation in how it operates, integrity in how they carry out their operations, responsibility through security for services and a conducive working environment and lastly earning loyalty from the staff, clients and investors (About FedEx 2010).

This case study seek explores the roles of the Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) current and future role in FedEx operations in Malaysia and how this department can be beneficial to the company.

The roles of the chief information officer of FedEx Malaysia

The chief information officer (CIO) is a key figure in any business and his/her role is diverse depending on the organization he is working with. The roles of the chief information officer of FedEx Malaysia includes heading the information technology (IT) department and ensuring that it performs credibly. Information Technology is the heart of operations in any company and it has to be developed and updated to meet the changing market demands (Leadership expertise 2010).

The CIO also has the duty of laying strategies for the IT department to ensure that the business priorities are met. This involves a lot of reorganization and setting up the right strategies in an effort to get the best out of the system which will translate to high returns for the company.

As their title dictates, Chief Information Officers ensure that the information they posses about the company and its products are valuable and this way, the department will operate smoothly and the information structures will function as per the stipulations (Leadership expertise 2010).

The information must also be well researched and at per with the worlds dynamic needs. The CIO also has the chief role of ensuring that the company uses a friendly budget and that it makes profits through an information department that works right.

The CIO is a leader and has the mandate to control his department to ensure that it is productive and up to date with the company’s needs this therefore means that he initiates projects geared at making the company flourish and beat the competition in the market. Information is very expensive and his ability to ensure that the company spends less without compromising its profits and stature in the business world is a plus (Leadership expertise 2010).

The CIO is in charge of the information technology department and makes sure that the staffs under him are performing highly. This means that he is the supervisor and mentors his juniors towards achieving great successes which are synonymous with the FedEx Company.

Information technology department, just like any other department in the company requires proper management for it to reach its targets. Management is vital and this is entitled to the CIO who has the duty to ensure that information technology is well used and available to the relevant systems (Leadership expertise 2010).

He has the duty to ensure that information is being used responsibly and effectively just like any other resources such as finance. Efficiency is vital in the information technology department since its failure can be detrimental to the company which will definitely translate to losses. Budgeting is a must and so is evaluation to confirm that the strategies being adopted are working positively towards the company’s set objectives (Leadership expertise 2010).

The CIO has the role of setting the information technology’s objectives and ensures that the staff works hard towards their achievement. He has the duty of making the FedEx’s objectives clear to the staff under him to ensure that they work as a team and towards a common goal.

It is important for them to know what the company requires of them and what they have to do to meet the set targets as performance is essential in FedEx. The CIO of FedEx Malaysia has the role of controlling the performance of his staff through constant evaluation and appraisals to ensure that the company performs well and that the staff is equipped with the right knowledge and materials to carry out their activities as desired (ejob description 1999).

When it comes to service, the CIO has the duty of ensuring that his staff have the right materials for their operations. This means that he has to get them the hardware and software they require for the information technology department to run smoothly.

The information world has several IT providers and it is the duty of the CIO to carry out a detailed research on the services they offer as well as the total cost and give recommendations to the finance department for procurement. The CIO of FedEx Malaysia also takes over the duty of managing the service providers they have short listed; in this era, business process outsourcing (BPO) has taken root in the business world (ejob description 1999).

The CIO therefore is faced with another duty or ensuring that the outsourced services are well managed to meet the company’s objectives and this means that the CIO has the chief role of promoting internal services against the outsourced ones. Outsourcing means an extra cost and the main idea here is to maximize the profits by minimizing the expenses.

In-house talent therefore needs to be put in use to limit outsourcing as much as possible. The CIO has the duty of ensuring that a healthy relationship exists between the company and the service providers (ejob description 1999).

Business ties are important and so these partnerships have to be respected and highly upheld to ensure that they give them the best services. The CIO has the duty of risk management whereby he has to come up with strategies which limit risks to the overall industry.

The productivity objectives must be strategic to avert any risks that may crop up within the operations. The company also must have set up a risk management strategy and the IT department must align with it. The CIO has the duty of ensuring that the business process is functional in terms of productivity (ejob description 1999).

He therefore has to work according to the company’s set objectives and has to consult with other senior people in the company before making any chief decisions that involve the company. He also has the duty to make sure that the System Development Methodology (SDM) as per the Information technology regulations is followed to the word.

The CIO has the duty of using IT for the optimization of the business process in the industry. Information technology is dynamic and the CIO therefore has to be well versed with the newest technologies and standards that are being launched (ejob description 1999).

He also has the duty of ensuring that all the departments are wired and have the latest information on the newest IT products for a smooth running of activities in the FedEx Malaysia.

The CIO has the duty of implementing IT initiatives and is therefore faced by the responsibility of managing all the IT projects. He also has to run the applications portfolio that comes with information technology. Managing the IT initiatives is also one of his many roles as well as proper management. He has the role of making decisions those maybe requiring improvements in his department (ejob description 1999).

He liaises with business process executives to ensure that the information technology department is being managed as it should. The CIO duties spread to the applications and infrastructure that are required by the industry. He therefore has the role of defining the architectures and standards that have to be put in place to counter them. IT consolidation is also part of his role in the industry and has the mandate to employ both internal and external resources to ensure that the service cost is optimized (ejob description 1999).

New roles of Chief Information Officer (CIO)

The changing market needs have affected the role of the chief information officer (CIO) and he is now faced with a role that is more inclined to business leadership. The old role of a CIO was more focused on the practical running and performance of the IT department as well as proper management of resources to ensure that the company spends less on information. The new role of the CIO is to ensure that the IT department is more productive to the company through business value (Koeppel 2008).

The CIO is faced with the role of bringing meaningful change to the IT department that will translate into business for the company. He also has to capitalize on what is working in an effort to create an opportunity for the company to bring in more money. This dynamic change in the CIO’s role is transforming him from an IT head to a leader in business.

The new role of the CIO demands that they be retrained to equip them with the necessary skills in leadership. Most of them may be just what their title says but in order to fit into the new role, training is inevitable (Koeppel 2008).

To fully understand the business process as demanded by the new role, a CIO has to be a leader first. He will have to make key decisions here which may either make or break the company.

As IT is the backbone of all organizations, he must be versatile enough to be able to work with skill and governance which now define his new role. In this new role, the CIO is a talent manager and has to keep track of the diverse talent base. The CIO therefore must possess excellent communication skills which will give him an edge in this dynamic department (Koeppel 2008).

The CIO’s new role will expect him to be a marketer and will have the duty of communicating the department’s objectives and efforts to bring in more business to the company. This will involve the use of appropriate metrics to communicate the importance of strategy in the IT department. Through these metrics, the CIO will be able to get over his primary duty of reducing the company’s expenses and concentrate more in delivery of revenue as well as improvement of operations (Koeppel 2008).

Benefits of Chief Information Officers

Chief information Officer (CIOs) is important in a company like FedEx Malaysia in many ways. Since the emergence of computers, operations at the work place have changed for the better and operations have been simplified. For a company to get the best out an IT department, a CIO must be present.

He oversees all the operations in this department and ensures that all the departments are well networked. This allows for a smooth operation and that all the technical details are handled professionally by the experts. The CIO supervises his staff and ensures that the computer networks are functional and embarks on training the staff on new innovations in the computer world. The CIO has now become a leader in business and this is profitable to the company since he uses IT to generate revenue.

This definitely makes money sense to any company and this makes the It department a worthy asset for the FedEx Malaysia (Parker 2005). According to Watson (2009), the perception that the IT department is a liability is changing with time and it is important to know that it is as profitable as any other department in the organisation.

IT has brought about various innovations and business opportunities which have made it a core part of any enterprise. CEOs need to view the It department as one of the most important systems in their companies and not as a liability since without IT the company may plunge into a demise (Alter 2006).

Recommendations

The FedEx Corporation has clearly cut a niche in the transport and information services industry. It has gone out of its way to provide its clients with the safest and fastest delivery services ever and is reaping fruits for its hard work. The role of its Chief Information Officers (CIO) has also shed light on what it takes to be in charge of one the company’s largest departments. Their role has changed with the dynamics of the market which require CIOs’ to couple up as leaders as well in an effort to make the department more business oriented.

The recommendations that I can suggest to improve efficacy in the Information Technology (IT) department include training. The new CIO is faced with a more challenging role of sourcing for business through his department.

This is hard work unlike his previous role which only required him to ensure that the systems are running and that the company is saving money. He now has to bring in money to the company through new strategies that he has to put in place. To fit in well in this role, the CIO has to learn about how the market functions and what is required of him as a CIO in this new era.

According to Qais international (2010), to be successful in this leadership role, the CIO has to learn how to communicate effectively. This way, he will be better placed to convey his strategies to his staff as well as the other company leaders based in different departments.

His new role will require him to govern the IT department and this will include the staff under him as well as liaising with other managers to chat a way forward as well as involving them in the decision making process. To be able to keep at per with new developments in the IT world, the CIO will have to scout for new talent which will bring in creativity and innovation required in his department.

According to Tucci (2010), this process will involve recruitment and management of these new people with the much needed expertise and skills which will be used to bring in business.

The CIO will be required to become more creative in his strategies and ensure that he comes up with profitable ones that will boost business in the organization. He will also be required to ensure that the staff is conversant with the changing IT trends and take it upon himself as the leader to educate them on new inventions. The CIO will have to learn how to optimize the business value of IT to a company.

According to Qais international (2010), the CIO will therefore have to align his strategies with those of the company and he has to ensure that they are practical. The CIO will have to be able to convince the company on the business value it will bring to the company and this means that he has to rebuild its credibility.

He has to be persuasive and this will help him get the support of the senior management by taking them through the impact of IT to the business. This way, he will be able to get the necessary funds that he may require to set up strategies which will bring money to the company (Qais International 2010).

References

About FedEx. (2010) Company information. Mission, strategy, values. FedEx, USA.

Alter, A. (2006) The evolving role of the CIO. Setting the innovation agenda: the IBM leadership forum summary, December 2006.

Ejob description. (1999) Chief information officer. Role of the CIO and CTO. The CIO’s HR department job descriptions – salary data.

FedEx. (2010) Who is FedEx? FedEx Express.

Koeppel, H. (2008). The new CIO: insights from the centre for CIO leadership. IBM corporation, USA. Leadership Expertise. (2010) Current and future challenges. The information officer. Mastering the power of information.

Parker, D. (2005) The importance of having a CIO, Windows Security. Web.

Tucci, L. (2010) Building IT business value, one word at a time. SearchCIO. Web.

Qais international. (2010) The chief information officer. Mastering the power of information. The future of the CIO leadership role.

Watson, B. (2009) Fed Ex’s Rob Carter on CIOs climbing the ladder. Resolving IT’s and Building business skills. Web.

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