The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2

Preston Williams III, CIO and Senior Partner, GBC Global Services | 6/15/2012 | 23 comments

Preston Williams III
Yesterday I talked about some of the cultural and strategic matters a company needs to get right before going global. Once those are taken care of, it can begin tackling the legal and technological issues at hand.

It can start here:

International customer agreement (ICA)
An ICA can be utilized to ensure that most variables known at the time of contract negotiation are covered in the goals and objectives outlined for the successful implementation of the project. Where necessary, the ICA should be structured to reflect each participating country’s role in the project. This should be done against the backdrop of a consistent view of the overall mission of the solution being deployed. Each country’s project should be clearly defined to ensure that execution is aligned with anticipated outcomes.

Legal considerations
Federal, state, and local laws vary. When a company commits to deliver products and services to a customer with a global presence, they should also pay close attention to legal guidelines for conducting business in-country.

In addition to providing legal guidance and administrative support to ensure that KPIs (key performance indicators) are being met, The Global Project Management Office is also responsible for issuing progress reports and deploying technological solutions.

Creating a global standard
The company offering a “global” product/service portfolio should spend the time required to create a global standard. This requires easily understood and clearly defined terms and conditions associated with the offering. This offering should be consistent across borders.

Logistics
Labor, equipment, and transportation are constant variables in every project. Whether it's manufacturing cars or computers, trans-shipment of components and finished products is part of the solution landscape. From design and manufacturing to final product delivery at the client site, employees involved with the project should be properly trained to perform their specific tasks in the chain of events.

Progress/status reports
The project leadership team should also agree on the key items to be reported on and the frequency of these reports. One caveat often included in the customer agreement is a clause that allows responsible parties to conduct impromptu meetings to address any anomalies that may impede successful completion of the engagement. Status reports are often consolidated before submission. It is also considered a “best-practice” to include individual project managers/administrators' reports as supporting indices to the summary report.

Billing and finance
The GPMO constantly reviews financial records to ensure that all cost is properly captured and that billing and payment are timely and accurate.

End-of-engagement review
At the end of every engagement, the leadership team should conduct a project review. This is an opportunity to evaluate how well the project was executed and to highlight “lessons learned” to be included in the company’s intellectual capital repository.

Customer satisfaction survey
When possible, the project leadership team should coordinate solicitation of a referral from satisfied clients. Upon getting a positive response from a satisfied customer, the GPMO should work closely with the company’s marketing division to create a mutually agreed message that informs current and prospective customers about the company’s ability to meet and exceed customers’ expectations.

The bottom line is that a properly structured and efficient Global Project Management Office can be the difference between success and failure. With success comes new revenue streams and more efficient operations. Failure could result in a public relations nightmare as well as lost revenue and cost overruns. A CIO looking to take his business global has a lot of things to consider, but then again, we're talking about doing business on a scale you've never done it before. No one said it would be easy. But if you follow these guidelines you'll see it can be done.

[Ed. note: Preston will be doing a live video interview on this topic on Monday, June 18, at 2:00 p.m. ET.]

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Preston Williams III   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   7/9/2012 2:14:32 PM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization
@ Geeky: Check your InBox.
User Ranking: Blogger
geeky   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   7/7/2012 11:12:10 PM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization
Can I have your email addrewss Williams or send a mail to mine which is [email protected]
Preston Williams III   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   7/2/2012 6:59:06 PM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization
@ syedzunair: I agree. The archives of many businesses are filled with stories of failure when otherwise profitable initiatives did not succeed. Why? Because in-country legal requirements were not given proper consideration during planning and/or execution. 
User Ranking: Blogger
Preston Williams III   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   7/2/2012 6:52:06 PM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization
@ Geeky: I look forward to hearing from you.
User Ranking: Blogger
syedzunair   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   7/2/2012 9:24:29 AM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization
Preston, you are right on the money. It is critical for the CIO to be familiar with the laws of the land because regulations sometimes drive businesses into a corner. With a person who knows them thoroughly there is a chance that the firm might get out of the troubles with a very little cost. 
geeky   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   6/30/2012 6:18:21 AM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization
Well sounds very interesting. I need some assistance on this. I will contact you for sure Williams.
Preston Williams III   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   6/27/2012 7:53:29 AM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization
 

@ Geeky: I do have hands-on experience in this area. I manage cross-functional and geographically dispersed teams while implementing IT Transformation, Business Intelligence and Product Development solutions for clients in several countries. My global experience includes work with Price Waterhouse (PricewaterhouseCoopers),  Andersen Consulting (Accenture), IBM Global Services, Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) and GBC Global Services. An overview of my global experience is available online: (1) Preston Williams Global Profile (2) New D&B Service Offers Deeper Corporate Linkage Data: (a) InfoCommerce Report (b) Data Publisher's Association. (3) A complete view of my profile is available on LinkedIn. Please feel free to contact me directly if you would like to explore a global solution for your organization.
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geeky   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   6/26/2012 11:54:09 PM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization
Sounds interesting williams. Well I guess it might be a good idea as you suggested to get some consultation help from a professional. Anyway have you got any hands of experiance on this before ?
Preston Williams III   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   6/26/2012 9:27:51 AM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization

@ syedzunair: Your observations and analyses of international business operations are on point. From the Eurozone to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), participating members have unique requirements for who can own and operate certain types of business. In many instances labor laws and immigration policies vary from one country to another. Some countries do not allow search engines to make certain information available to their citizens and residents. In several countries there are restrictions about the nature of converging technologies which can be deployed for public consumption (encrypted data, etc.) It is very important that the Chief Information Officer (CIO) have an in-depth understanding of these variables in the quest to take his/her company global.

User Ranking: Blogger
syedzunair   The CIO's Role in Going Global, Part 2   6/25/2012 3:30:39 AM
Re: CIO's Role and Globalization
@ Preston - True. In the Third World countries we have a major energy crisis. Businesses shut down because they are not able to meet their order size on time.

You also mentioned in-country regulations. I was doing a bit of a research online and was surprised to find out how each country has very different regulations for ownership, staff recruiting and then if we go a little micro, each industry itself has different dynamics for operations.
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