The CIO’s view of the Next IT Wave
by Hu Yoshida on Jul 11, 2008
I had the pleasure of hosting a panel of CIO’s for Camp IT’s IT Leadership Strategy Conference in Rosemont, Illinois. The topic was “The Next IT Wave: What Might It Be and How Can You Prepare For It”. The panelists we had were excellent with a wide range of experiences. Kim Tracy, Executive Director, University Computing Services, Northeastern Illinois University, also teaches at the University and had worked at Bell Labs. John Phillips, Vice President and CIO for AllScripts, with twenty years of technology experience in business alignment and operations also had experience at companies like Accenture, RR Donnelley, and Thomson Corporation. Anuraag Bhargava, CIO for Electro-Motive Diesels, had a wealth of international experience, as well as experience as a Principal in the Strategy Practice at A.T. Kearney. Steve Carlberg has responsibility for the overall design, selection, and integration of various networking technologies at University Health System Consortium. Steve also had nine years experience in the US Navy Nuclear Power Program on board sumarines.
One of the IT Waves they discussed was the one identified by Forrester as “Technology Populism”. According to Forrester, this next wave of change will be fueled by the proliferation of consumer devices, social networking tools, and cloud-based collaboration services making their way into the enterprise.
At the forefront of this wave is the new generation of IT consumers, the millennial generation who grew up with social networking and always on, always available, everywhere access. These are the IT consumers that Kim Tracy serves everyday in the University. While cloud computing is not on the near horizon, he will have to be able to serve his users on whatever device they use to check their grades and course materials. He noted that while this new generation is an easy user of new technology they are not necessarily knowledgeable about the technology. This means that IT must be more knowledgeable about technology and its implication on operations, service, and security. This is changing the role of the CIO into that of a CTO.
John Phillips is beginning to use the cloud to make his business processes more agile. He cited the use of SalesForce.com as a way to make his sales more productive. He is also a strong proponent of virtualization. In the past when marketing wanted to initiate a new marketing campaign, they would have to outsource it in order to meet the targeted timelines. Now he can provision new virtual servers and storage and keep the spend in house with better control.
Steve Carlberg, also sees the value of cloud computing and the ability to easily provision services to meet changing business needs. However, in his business where he provides University Hospitals with proprietary analysis, he must keep his core applications in house. Steve is also a strong advocate for virtualization both on the server and storage sides. He is using a USP V with Dynamic Provisioning (thin Provisioning) on external storage.
While Anuraag Bhargava, might be considered to be working in a structured, manufacturing, supply chain, business, he is looking for ways to exploit these new technologies. He sees the use of mobile devices on trains to monitor the electro-motive engines and upload real time data. While he is not ready to use third party cloud providers, he sees the need to develop his own cloud services. His future data center will be a services oriented data center, responsive to changing business requirements, where the end user will not be concerned about what is behind the cloud. EM Diesel also has USP V’s with Dynamic Provisioning to provide Services Oriented Storage.
Not only is it clear that IT technology is changing, but the CIO role and prerequisites are changing as demonstrated in the background and views of these four individuals. For a bio on the distinguished speakers at this IT Leadership Strategy Conference please click here.
As to my comment on the CIO role becoming more CTO-ish, I was also referring to that education-delivery will incorporate more technology. Technologies such as much better learning environments that enhance student learning are poised to really change the way higher education is delivered. Collaborative tools, vast on-line resources, and students being constantly online.