by Jack Santos | October 15, 2012 | 1 Comment
BYOD and the era of tablets has started to make me wonder. So did today’s observation in the WSJ CIO journal.
Desktop PC’s and laptops have been the RAM-tough workhorse for the enterprise since the 80s. Tablet buying is surging, and employee use across the board is increasing. If studies show that employees spend most of their time on tablets, that may mean they are relegating the desktop/laptop to heavy and occasional workloads (like massive Excel spreadsheet manipulation).
If that happens, will IT shops, already reeling from 5-7 year refresh cycles as a result of cost management practices and recessions, be looking at 10-12 year cycles for some (if not the majority) of employees? That assumes that refresh cycles for tablets will be sub 5 year – and mimic phones (2-3 year). At the $200-$600 dollar price point that may be doable. Of course, no one is suggesting PCs and laptops go the way of the dinosaur – at worst they become akin to a “second car”. Contact centers, analysts, graphic artists…all require the functionality equivalent to the Tundra pickup that towed around the space shuttle this past week. But do we all?
If that is true, the implications are enormous – not only to the Microsoft OS obsolescence strategy (with Win 8 upon us), but also to the technology waste stream, to say the least.
Category: economy Future IT Governance management Managment Mobility Predictions Strategic Planning Windows 8 Wireless Tags: consumerization, economy, IT relevance, management, microsoft, mobility, Strategy
by Jack Santos | October 1, 2012 | Comments Off
We write a lot of research at Gartner about business process management, paperless office, workflow, organizational efficiency, outsourcing, etc etc etc. All fertile ground for automation.
So when mundane daily small town experiences intrude – they may have a message. The message I got this week is how much opportunity there is out there eligible for proven IT technology – ie., we have only scratched the surface.
Like the debate between two local politicos over the appropriateness of airing ones views via an online blog.
Or the experience of getting a local building permit – 12 pages of paper form, where I entered my name in 10 times, my address 5 times, and my signature 3 times – all on the same form! Then I had to walk (!) the paper to two different departments to check whether I had paid my taxes and water bill (which, incidentally, they checked on a computer). To the form’s credit – I only had to describe my proposed home repair twice. They were amazed that I would sit down in their office to fill it out! I was amazed that the submission/review/approval process took longer than the actual work to be done! (5 days vs. 4 days)
Now – grant it, these were processes designed when there were five or so different filing cabinets in five different departments, copying machines didn’t exist, and tax status wasn’t accessible online…but these business processes still exist (Is it really 2012?). This could be its own economic stimulus act – imagine the resource (people) savings without these processes? The savings in tax dollars? The increase in unemployment?
In fairness, many of these processes/forms are now available online as PDFs or web pages to be printed out and handed in. I suppose that is one way to say you are computerized….
This too shall pass.
Which is why I love IT. There is so much opportunity out there to effectively deliver new IT and business solutions…the future is so bright I gotta wear shades…
Category: Applications CIO issues Future Innovation management Managment Strategic Planning Tags: consumerization, data management, IT relevance, management, Strategy
by Jack Santos | September 18, 2012 | Comments Off
I have a confession to make. Having been in IT since I was knee high to a grass hopper, I often feel somewhat responsible for its failings. Almost Al Gore-like “I helped invent the Internet” kind of responsible. After all – I was there at NCC in 79 when Xerox introduced the Star (precursor to GUIs everywhere), bought PC serial number #100 and immediately had it at work to dissect it when my 370 partners were laughing at me “that’s not for real programmers”, or debated with token ring, Ethernet, and IEEE standards designers the meaning of a bit to make early versions of TCPIP work in commercial network hardware. And let’s not get into Fido net.
So when a laptop blue screens, or a lay person complains about how awful his/her computing experience is…I feel a twinge of responsibility.
It’s amazing how in my lifetime the effect of computing has out done even the wildest dreams of Guttenberg like societal impacts.
…and now I read stories like:
The implications? lack of privacy, driven by the quest for profits on the one hand – and increased worker isolation and company-driven, cost-driven citizen disempowerment on the other. That is, if you believe those folks that read the Unabomber’s manifesto nightly. The dark side of a nexus of mobility, cloud, social, and information.
Is it any surprise that in highly technological cultures over the last 25 years, the wealth gap (“the 1%”) has grown dramatically, or that occupy or Arab spring movements are driven by societal shifts that are catalyzed by technological advancements?
But the optimist in me says it can be so different. We are on the brink of a choice that was so clearly captured in Frank Capras “It’s a Wonderful Life” – between a world of chaos and lack of ethics, versus small town utopia and community.
So what can we as IT professionals do to move the needle towards one vision or the other? Like any good 12 step program, recognition of a problem comes first….
One way our Gartner Professional Effectiveness team is trying to impact it is through webinars, like the upcoming one on “The Power of Communication”. That comes from a perspective of “Do it yourself before others do it unto you”. Take control of where your career is going, or your role within the organization. Communicate like a leader, and be a leader. And impact the ethical and design issues for the future of our species.
Join us for a complimentary Gartner webinar, designed especially for IT practitioners. The 99%.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Power of Communication
Presented by: Mike Rollings, Jack Santos and Guest Speaker Fred Garcia
EDT: 9:00 a.m. | GMT: 13:00
The future of IT work demands a different set of work practices, thought processes, and interpersonal skills than what is present in most IT organizations today. As a result, to stay in the game IT practitioners must learn to influence, communicate with, and engage their business peers more effectively.
In this webinar, Mike Rollings and Jack Santos of Gartner’s Professional Effectiveness team and their guest Helio Fred Garcia will discuss ways to improve the non-technical skills of IT practitioners. Fred has been on the New York University faculty for 24 years. He teaches crisis management, communication strategy, crisis communication, and communication ethics, law, and regulation. Mike, Jack and Fred will explore topics from Fred’s new book “The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively.”
In this webinar, you will learn:
· Why is there a critical need for non-technical skills, and why must IT practitioners learn to engage and influence more effectively?
· How does the Marine Corps’ strategy doctrine and the Warfighting manual apply to leadership communication?
· What practical guidance can be followed to have an immediate impact on your ability to communicate successfully?
Category: career CIO issues IT Governance management Managment practitioner Tags: career, CIO, consumerization, gearheads, management, Outsourcing, privacy, security, Strategy
by Jack Santos | September 4, 2012 | Comments Off
Probably one of the longer running logos, recently changed, at least among tech companies. Will it make my 1987-vintage baseball call worth more?
Note that the baseball cap modified version did not have the stylized “os”, the close letter spacing, and less of a slant type….making it much like the recently announced logo (without the color-quadrant, not to be confused with a magic quadrant).
I was thinking about all the changes Microsoft (and I) have been through since 1975 ; BTW, I also worked on a MITS Altair in 1976, but didn’t move to Albuquerque.
My very first Microsoft employee I ever met, and admired, was Jon Shirley – freshly hired from Tandy to bring adult supervision to Bill and Paul. He was followed by two other parent figures as presidents: Mike Hallman (from Boeing) , and Mike Maples (from IBM) . They brought corporate creds, but didn’t last long.
But the most impactful relationship I had with Microsoft-ies was with my local sales guys: Paul Houghton and Ian Warhaftig. I am quite sure they are retired now and sailing somewhere. They were particularly good tap dancers during the IBM OS/2 vs. Windows skirmish – ever the twinkle in their eyes and “nudge nudge, wink wink” hints about Microsoft’s intent for that relationship. Very helpful in my corporate decision making. A belated thanks, guys.
So there is a soft spot in my heart which is rooting for Microsoft to take back the innovation crown with Win 8 and make headway in the mobile space. Certainly, recent court decisions might help. But I wouldn’t bet my house on it….
Category: management Managment Vendor Contracts Tags: management, microsoft, Strategy
by Jack Santos | August 29, 2012 | 2 Comments
I recently had a close friend comment “I now get all my news from facebook”.
No CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR, Local paper…facebook.
The highlights of the Republican National Convention? facebook
The latest on the Hanta virus in Yosemite? facebook
The details of a recent phone line outage due to a fire? facebook.
I don’t think she is alone. The implications are startling for our culture – balkanization of society (republicans inform republicans, democrats inform democrats), privacy and tracking issues, and the potential for mass hysteria based on false information.
OTOH – this certainly brings “news” – and the dissemination of news – close to it’s roots: the verbal spreading of information from person to person. What was once “one to one” and went “one to many” for efficiency and speed, is now a blend of both.
My current research is how “control” – and what it means - is changing in organizations, especially IT. Access and distribution of information is certainly a form of control – evidenced by dictatorships and closed societies. The facebook (social media) phenom has implications for control and how we perceive it. Can we coin this the new meaning of “crowd control”?
Category: Future Innovation IT Governance management Managment Social Media Uncategorized Tags: consumerization, culture, privacy, Social media
by Jack Santos | August 24, 2012 | Comments Off
Just got back from Gartner Catalyst late last night. Awesome conference – thanks to all that reached out and introduced themselves, stayed attentive during my presentations, asked questions, interacted in one-on-ones, and commented on my blog and research.
I can’t say enough about the Erik Wahl keynote – evidenced by the crowd jumping out of their seats for a standing “O” and rushing the stage for autographs. He did a great job.
One of the topics that keeps coming up is mobility and Big Data. It’s interesting to see what kind of impact our mobile devices and their ability to locate/track/monitor are having. One example I used at the conference was my “Fit Bit” - or a pedometer on steroids.
For a few years now I have been using Google location. Ostensibly I first used it collaboratively with my kids so I would know where they were, and they would know where I am. Interestingly enough, the geek boys accepted the monitoring, while the women (wife and daughter) would have none of it.
Now that we have had a few years of experience, and improvements, I thought I would share the kind of reports I am getting. Like, my last two weeks worth of travel:
Obviously the trip to the Catalyst Conference stands out, as does my travels along the Maine Coast during vacation (kayaking and camping). Location even allows me to replay it chronologically….
Sure – there is still some fine tuning that needs to take place – like this chart on my location dashboard:
I apparently spend no time at work, and a lot of time out away from home…
For me, the creepiness factor starts to set in here (I am sure of many of you passed that point long ago in this discussion)
Now – for the record, I didn’t “check in” (facebook, foursquare, or Google plus) – yet location still made some observations about the where and when of my whereabouts – including Chris Howard’s favorite Indian restaurant in San Diego (Masala in Old Town).
And even more intriguing, my travel calendar from the last year, accompanied (in another table) by airports and travel time,,
Note I haven’t DONE A THING to have this info collected – except to keep my phone on, and sign up for Google location.
It gets better than that in terms of detail and interesting information, but we’ll stop here. We are just scratching the surface of big-geo data, and the advantages (or disadvantages) of mobility. Now, interesting enough, my iphone and plan is associated with work. And that is where the work/privacy issues really start to come into play. But that’s for another blog day….
Category: Catalyst 12 Fun Future Innovation Mobility Social Media Wireless Tags: 3g, Catalyst-NA, Cloud, consumerization, mobility, privacy, Social media, Wireless
by Jack Santos | August 13, 2012 | Comments Off
The term “Reverse Mentoring” seems to ebb and flow – in Forbes, in the Wall Street Journal, in Mckinsey reports – originally ascribed (in some circles) to Jack Welch at GE.
What a perverse term.
More recently it has become vogue to use “reverse mentoring” as a way to get old farts (like me) more in tune with social media and anything new that the younger workforce is doing.
Mentoring carries with it a connotation of power – the person in a position of power is assisting the person not in the same position. And there are certainly some good aspects to that. I have been mentored, and it helped my career. “Peer Mentoring” starts to bastardize that power relationship – by definition peers are at the same power level within the organization. “Reverse mentoring” takes mentoring to a whole different planet – either by recognizing that subordinates have a certain amount of power – or purposefully negating the power equation (as if that could be done).
How about flipping the whole mentoring discussion on its head and just talk about managing relationships and engagement? By putting social interactions on steroids (thru Facebook, Linked in, Twitter and other social media), it becomes less about mentoring, and more about making sure that you (boss or subordinate) are properly managing your relationships, and that all interactions are a good give and take. Mentoring, then, just becomes a moniker for those relationships you put special emphasis on – but it should still be bi-lateral.
That’s at the core of the research we do for Professional Effectiveness at Gartner. It’s a recognition that EVERYONE brings something to the table in the organization, and the goal should be how you can make yourself effective in that environment. The skills that we normally ascribe to “leaders” aren’t just for those at the top. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a hierarchy, or a chain a command. It would be foolish to think that organizations can be totally egalitarian. Early in my life I did extensive work on studying communities – and found that even in supposedly “democratic and egalitarian, leaderless” communities there was always a structure and hierarchy involved, and most of the time a strong leader. But there is a difference between being a (formal or informal) leader, and needing those same “leadership qualities” to be effective at every level of the organization.
Maybe the distinction can be talked about as “big L” Leadership versus “small l” leadership. So in that sense, everyone in the organization is a leader.
That’s part of what we’ll be talking about at our workshop entitled “Career Survival Skills for Gearheads” at the Gartner Catalyst conference next week.
Category: Catalyst 12 CIO issues management Managment Social Media Tags: Catalyst-NA, culture, gearheads, management, Social media
by Jack Santos | August 9, 2012 | Comments Off
From my recent transatlantic flight at 38,000 feet over the ocean… $15 for 5 hours…. effective cost per Mb per sec = 0.019 – approximately 2 cents per bit per second
From home, using basic cable/internet … $25 for 30 days… effective cost per Mb per sec = 0.000024 – approximately 24 thousandth of a cent per bit per second
In San Diego at Catalyst 2012… Priceless
Category: Catalyst 12 Mobility Wireless Tags: Catalyst-NA, network, Wireless
by Jack Santos | August 6, 2012 | Comments Off
Those of you that follow my blog know that I occasionally weigh in on healthcare issues – mainly due to my unique healthcare background where, in the course of my career, I managed IT for insurers, physician practices, and hospitals …
So it’s not surprising to see some of the initial feedback on ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations), which have gathered steam under Obama’s Supreme-Court approved (with Medicaid qualifications) Affordable Care Act. Or the lessons learned from prior healthcare initiatives that have had mixed results, like HIEs (Health Information Exchanges). Not surprising, to me at least, is that the visioning and even funding for these efforts are easy when compared to the complexity of the system challenge.
The press is rife with stories, like the bumpy start for Medicare’s ACO because of data integration issues, particularly around patient identifiers; or challenges with data delivery and distribution hiccups. Some reports blame the complexity of systems, data management, and systems integration in ACO struggles. Although I have no doubt about healthcare IT’s ability to overcome some of these problems, I also am enough of a realist to say “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.
Early stage HIEs hit the same issue. This interview almost smacked of a “technology caused us to fail” mantra, intimating that how we manage data and systems may not be ready for health information exchanges.
I don’t think so.
There are a lot of lessons learned from other IT disciplines that can be applied (banking is probably ten years ahead of healthcare in some of these issues – but account balances are different from life-in-the-balance). Oh, but wait. When something goes wrong in finance (like a Facebook IPO related trading glitch or runaway automated pricing of CDOs) they tend to blame IT too….
At Gartner we have some very strong healthcare coverage that focuses on the healthcare IT enablement – and how to make your IT efforts a success. At our Catalyst conference, we try to look at tech first, and focus on verticals second (if at all). This year, though, we have some excellent health-care speakers lined up in the mobility track, focusing on mobile apps and architecture. Like clinical mobility using virtual desktops at Seattle Children’s hospital, or the mobile apps strategy at Genentech. Worth the visit.
Category: Catalyst 12 Healthcare Managment Tags: Catalyst-NA, Healthcare
by Jack Santos | August 2, 2012 | Comments Off
By now we are starting to get a pretty good idea how the device market is shaping up, and the implications to Enterprise IT. Let’s look at it from another gear head device market: Automobiles.
Phones become phones again, with added value and uses. With the expansion of the tablet market, I expect a decreased reliance on on individual’s phone usage for casual internet use. Extreme portability (pocket), ad hoc small screen access, and the ability to take real-time communication (messaging and voice) is the key here. Everyone has one, but they’ll have a tablet and a desk unit, too. A chicken in every pot, at least 3 IPs for every person. Welcome to your second car smart phone: a two seater sports convertible. Not to mention we’ll always think up sexy uses, or creative hand me downs. Like this picture of a survey app at the local restaurant on an old ipod touch.
Tablets. For 4 years Apple has bet the ranch on one-size fits all iPad. and it worked – just like Henry Ford’s model T. But that’s changing. and its not only size but function/form that is changing as well. Large /small colorful and targeted, this is the future for 99.9% of the world. So there is lots of room for innovation and target marketing. Read books, but need internet? Surf Internet, but read books? Use it for work? Use it for play? Just look at this Amazon lineup for a view of the future – and its only the start:
Welcome to the family car and it’s choice of makes and models. And who sells family cars with only a subscription for road use? Bundling of device/access (like the Kindle Touch 3G) will be big ….mainly because it follows the KISS principle for consumer marketing. It also turns on its head the business model for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and others – marginalizing the network provider (Can you hear me now?)..up until now we have been paying the road tolls, and getting the car for free….
What happens to Laptops/PCs? Ahhh….The family van or pickup. Lots of storage. Lost of capability. Lots of everything. But do you need it everywhere for everything? Some of that depends on your job, but (mostly) the answer is no. Keep it around for the family vacation, or occasional trip to the datamart..err..supermarket.
Which brings us to the souped up super duper desktop. The Chevy S10, or Ram Truck. If you are in construction, or software or content development, ya gotta have one of these. You know, the size of your engine says something about the kind of person you are. How many horses under that hood? How many MIPs in that box? Still a solid market, but nowhere near the size of the prior three devices
Best of all? My first PC, an IBM PC with 360K floppy and 16Kb ram, cost $1500. That now buys a laptop, tablet and phone TOTAL, adjusted for inflation. Sweet….. who says 3 car garages are passé? With 8 Billion people on the planet, are we looking at 30 Billion devices by 2030?
Implications for Enterprise IT? …you’ll have to come to the Gartner Catalyst conference to get that info…
Category: Catalyst 12 Externalization Future Mobility Wireless Tags: 3g, Catalyst-NA, Cloud, consumerization, mobility, network, Predictions, Wireless