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Where is your Data? CIO as Cloud Integration Officer
- The enterprise is no longer the innovator of technology.
In the 60s, 70s and 80s, technology innovation was driven by higher education and the enterprise. Now, its all consumer driven via startup companies. These consumer applications and devices are part of our everyday life.
Beginning in the 90s, the technology innovation began to focus more on the consumer. And forever, technology innovation has now changed. Forever.
Technology today is evolving at a faster and faster pace. This is happening first, specifically, in the consumer market and then its making its way into the enterprise. Therefore, the enterprise is becoming infiltrated by consumer-oriented technologies with which they have to deal.
- How do CIOs deal with the consumerization of IT?
Corporations today have consumer technology throughout their companies. Every employee is using their personal applications and social applications on a daily basis. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approaches are now prevalent throughout the business world.
How do you leverage them? Successful companies are deploying new applications and services via these consumer owned devices. SaaS/Cloud applications and services are now all accessible via these same mobile devices.
What do you leverage and how do you leverage?
The application landscape --- those base applications, financial systems and manufacturing systems that everybody uses --- are all changing. You're no longer building new applications, but buying them --- and it is always as a service.
- Very few are buying and implementing vertically integrated tech stacks for applications.
The maturity and pace of new application development, building technology infrastructures and continuous improvement or added capabilities are much faster in a SaaS and cloud world than in a vertically integrated technology world. Just look at the growth of Amazon (EC2, AWS).
Cloud-based services can iterate quickly and upgrade multiple times a year across their entire customer base, adding new functionality on a moment’s notice, because they're hosted in the cloud and everybody immediately takes advantage of it.
You used to have to buy software or some technology like new hardware or extended hardware to run that software. Then you’d have to build a plan, integrate it and test it. Then, of course, there are support and remediation issues.
Building a mobile app can happen in days. A vertically integrated internally hosted application would take six-to-nine months before you would get a new release at the earliest. Bigger applications might take a year or longer.
It’s less costly and faster to leverage in the cloud than by using or developing your own internally-hosted applications.
- Everything commoditizes over time.
Most CIOs and IT leaders feel what they do is extremely strategic and provides a competitive advantage. But, the smart ones realize, over the course of time, that all applications and services become commodities. In other words, the cloud is actually better, faster and cheaper. Plus, it can now be consumed by all in all form factors.
The whole concept of jumping on the next S curve is extremely important for the CIO. What was CORE and competitive for your company will change. The effective and successful CIO will need to find the next CORE offering (the next S curve).
- Where should they be spending their time? Core or context activities?
- What is really core and a competitive advantage going forward?
- Do CIOs have a process of continuous innovation (finding the next core)?
What it was yesterday is not going to be a competitive advantage tomorrow, because everybody will catch up eventually. The cloud is the great equalizer. In business, "The World is Flat" is absolutely true.
- Where should they be spending their time? Core or context activities?
- Talent changes in the enterprise, especially in the development organizations.
CIOs need to recognize every business function has technology-savvy talent. Many are selecting SaaS/cloud solutions daily for their own use. Most believe they know more than the CIO regarding what solution they need to run their business/function.
You need fewer developers and tech types. For the most part, you're buying and piecing together all of the systems and services you might need to run your business.
Talent differentiation is extremely important. You need greater talent on the integration side. You need to be able to integrate cloud solutions fast and connect them back to the enterprise.
You also need an increase in, and focus on, security, because access to your key data is held up by the four walls of the enterprise.
The core parts of IT become very different:
- You are no longer building applications.
- You need fewer developers.
- You need fewer technical operators and applications support staff.
- You need more security personnel.
- You will need a few really good architects, especially data architects.
- You don’t have a support team and you have minimal QA in your organization.
- You will need to invest in BIG DATA and analytics capabilities.
You don't need application support functions, because those are all provided by the vendor. So, you should be able to run an organization at 50 to 60 percent of what it used to cost
Now, you can invest more heavily in those few areas that provide you with a competitive advantage (CORE) or areas that are extremely sensitive to your business – like the research and development function or in areas governed by regulatory bodies.
More and more services like human capital management, sales, marketing, information technology and accounting/finance are going to be using SaaS solutions where you will no longer need developers, support people, technical operators and the like. The makeup of IT organizations in the future is going to change dramatically in size and in skill set.
- Industry-specific applications NO MORE! You are not unique.
Applications used to be developed with a specific industry in mind. No More. With the cloud, applications and services are provided ubiquitously to all. Moreover, most business functions (finance/accounting, IT, sales, marketing and others) do not function much differently from each another. The questions or problems they are trying to solve are different. But the basic processes in companies are not vastly different – or shouldn't be.
Only those functions or processes that truly differentiate your company should be leveraging or building something unique.
CIOs need to figure out what is – and what is not – unique or different for their companies.
Tremendous disruption in a market might create short-term differentiation in a SaaS/cloud-based solution. But most of these solutions could be leveraged by all industries. Compliance requirements and regulations might also require industry specific solutions to be used. These will be few and far between.
- Mobility wins, any time, any place, any device. The cloud enables mobility.
Today, the mobile computing devices are as powerful as the old IBM personal computers. But, with the broad access to all your data in the cloud, business can gain tremendous advantage vs. your competitors.
People want the same or better experience on their mobile devices that they get on their personal computers or their laptops. They want to be able to work at any location at any time of the day. They don’t want to have to be governed by the 9-to-5, four-wall environments of an office building.
The CIOs need to understand that their world is global and a strong ecosystem will create advantages for them and their companies.
The future calls for increased mobile access to all services and all the company's information. Hence, the cloud needs to be a key element of the CIO strategy and game plan.
As the devices of the future get more and more powerful, they will change in form factor and get smaller. The focus needs to be on enabling them and governing the data.
- Work is a collaboration process.
The worker of tomorrow will be very different than today. Technology and applications must adjust to the workers to come. They have to be developed and consumed very differently than they were in the past.
The Gen Ys of the world learn through collaboration. The way they solve problems is through collaboration and social interaction.
The previous generation used to work in a cubical or in an office...in isolation. It was a quiet, close-the-door existence.
Today, that’s not the way work gets done.
Social networking and social interactions are the way we live, work and play. Physical work environments reflect this change. They are built for collaborating; for social interactions.
This new way of working puts the power of technology in the hands of the worker. As such, the cloud becomes the vehicle to get work done. Far more applications are selected by workers in corporations than by the CiO's office.
As a CIO, messaging that you are open to more collaborative applications that embrace user-defined/discovered solutions will create a much tighter relationship with your users.
- Corporate boards can be held liable if you have damage as a result of data leakage.
In almost every industry there are reports of data being compromised. Brand loss, customer exodus and ultimately revenue challenges result.
Security readouts to the Board of Directors (BOD) are now common place. Risk, compliance and security are all areas that create concern and can result personal liability. This is new in the last few years. BODs are all grappling with how to handle this.
CIOs and CISOs need to understand the impacts of the cloud and SaaS on their data and their overall security status.