It is hard to predict what the near future of ICT will look like. We need to realize that nowadays a lot of organizations work with project planning horizons of less than one year. The IT industry is changing so rapidly that long-term planning is no longer considered a solution. An unstructured approach towards change will no longer suffice. Adapting to new technology now demands a willingness to channel new possibilities and to determine the business value of technology. The question for business leaders, especially technology leaders, is: “As CIOs, how do we survive in this setting?”
Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives but the most adaptable.” Taking these words of Darwin, the CIO, into account, it is good to know what has changed and to understand what direction the changes will take. In this issue of Compact we therefore look at important changes for technology leaders, varying from changes in digital strategy, data analytics, cost and applications. We provide insights in and guidance on how to succeed in this fast changing IT environment.
For a lot of organizations embracing digital disruption is the only way forward to prevent a significant loss of market share. Therefore, organizations are actively embarking on developing a digital strategy. For a digital strategy to be sustainable and for it to facilitate data-driven decision making, it must define an operating model for the future with a technology stack to enable it. The articles “Enabling the Digital Enterprise”, “Embracing the Digital Era” and “Unleashing the Internet of Everything” look at what this means for the CIO and elaborate on the challenges that need to be met.
We see a massive increase in demand for Big Data Analytics, not just from a people and skills point of view, but also as a key instrument at the forefront of (CIO) decision making. Big Data has often been referred to as the “New Oil”, because of its positive side, but also because of the introduction of new risks that need to be effectively controlled. The article “Big Data: Big Opportunities, Big Responsibilities” addresses both sides of the coin.
As change is a constant, it is also a big challenge to create change. Using IT to change IT is the main theme of the article “All To Play: How Games Can Change IT”, a case study on applied gaming as the main tool for IT organizations striving to realize their ambitions for positive change.
The dialogue between the CEO and the CIO is also changing. The CEO is more interested in IT projects that make money as opposed to IT projects that save money. This change is reflected in upcoming concepts such as Technology Business Management or in ways to manage the business of IT through an integrated view of cost, consumption, performance and demand.
Looking at the CIO’s operational priorities, improving business processes and increasing operational effectiveness are still high on the list. Many IT organizations, however, are constrained by their complex and diverse inventory of applications, infrastructure components and services that consume the majority of resources and leave little IT capacity to respond to digital disruption and actively shape the digital future of the enterprise. The articles “Application Portfolio Optimization”, “Removing the Application Entropy” and “Is Our ERP Landscape Ready for the Future?” discuss components that withhold IT organizations from gaining agility.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Compact and gain insight from the ideas and advice it offers: it might help you face the challenges of the IT-enabled transformation process. If you would like to explore these ideas and concepts further, we invite you to contact us or any of the contributing authors.