CIOs bank on trendy technology as a priority for 2013


Firstly, thanks to everyone who completed our Broadgate Predictions survey for 2013. We closed it off today and will publish the results in our March BROADSheet.

What is clear as a general theme is that organisations are putting more emphasis on new technology innovation to drive further business value for internal and external clients. CIO budgets have been flat (at best) for several years now so they must look at new ways to deliver improved technology services from the perspective of cost, quality, agility and competitive advantage.

(Note: the exception to this is in financial services where budgets for risk & regulation are swallowing the discretionary spend – in itself a big issue).

So how are CIOs fairing against the challenge of exploiting new technology effectively? Well in another recent survey by Gartner CIOs believed they were only realising 43% of technology’s potential. Now, this is a difficult measure, and one which is not really fleshed out. However, the headline number is startling and putting it out there will cause businesses to question what the world might look like by tapping into the other 57%…

The problem is that the mantra for years now has been efficiency – doing “more with less”. But this only goes so far and as we wrote in our November article about the big banks, CIOs are running out of their most precious commodity, time.

Therefore, CIOs are starting to think differently around new technology, particularly in the area of mobile, data science (we don’t like the “big data” tag), cloud services, social media and consumerization, which have or are entering market maturity.

Mark McDonald, group vice president and Gartner Fellow says;

“CIOs require a new agenda that incorporates hunting for new digital innovations and opportunities, and harvesting value from products, services and operations”.

It is a really good point. These technology advances provide the basis of a new way of delivering technology services. It isn’t really about being an innovator or “pioneer”, but more about changing the objectives, behaviour and culture of the CIO organisation to embrace new ways of delivering value.

We are certainly at a tipping point. Another more worrying finding of the Gartner survey was that around half of the CIOs surveyed (covering some 2000 companies) do not see the role of IT in the enterprise changing over the next 3 years.

Really? As the new digital innovations become more pervasive in society those that do not have a plan to embed these into transformation of applications, infrastructure and operations will, in McDonald’s words “…consign themselves to tending a garden of legacy assets and responsibilities.”

Digital technologies dominate the CIO agenda for 2013. The top 10 global technology priorities reflect a greater emphasis on externally-oriented digital technologies, as opposed to traditional IT/operationally oriented systems.

Over the next 10 years, CIOs see the following technologies fundamentally disrupting business;

  • Mobile technologies (70%)
  • Data Analytics (55%)
  • Social Media (54%)
  • Cloud (51%)

Naturally, many of these have the greatest transformational power when combined together rather than in isolation, similarly to our article this month on Software Defined Networks.

What is key is that we also think further about the changing role of the CIO and leadership throughout this journey. Over the last 10 or so years we’ve seen CIOs become more business aligned and commercially aware. The old days of simply being the “engine room” for data processing are long gone. Indeed, there is a much greater awareness from CIOs in recognising (and being recognised) in terms of technology innovation and the value in delivering business solutions.

As this evolves further, CIOs will potentially find themselves in new territory again in leading solutions outside of the traditional technology role, such as acting as the enterprise chief digital officer, being involved in new channels to market, leading real business solutions in a more collaborative way to shape competitive and innovative digital services etc…

This requires a new ethos and potentially new skills. For example, those CIOs that excel at driving cost savings/efficiency may not necessarily be the same ones to lead the business through the next phase of digital innovation. It will be the CIOs that grasp this and change (or step aside) will offer businesses the most.


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Posted on : 28-02-2013 | By : jo.rose | In : Cloud

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