It is halfway through Gartner European Symposium and ITxPo and time for some intermediate reflections. These are based on talking with CIOs both in 1:1 sessions as well as to groups of CIOs after presentations and during dinners, etc. These views are my own and based on these interactions which represent a fraction of the more than 1500 CIOs here in Cannes. I have included some links to prior blog posts that have come up in these discussions.
- It is very clear that the world has lost its ‘one size fits all’ characteristic particularly in terms of IT. Technology has been among the most global industries in the world and often the differences in priorities and strategies were relatively small. However, this year the world has become multi-point with each company and country facing its own challenges. This is already showing up in the CIO survey data in terms of business strategies and CIO priorities. Simply put this means that if you see one organization, increasingly you have seen just one organization.
- Companies are looking to come together and act as a group rather than as a collection of countries or regions. This makes sense, as companies working together are more powerful than divisions working alone. Understanding how your company operates –as a fist or as five fingers – is an issue people are dealing with and looking for IT to address.
- CIOs are looking to restructure IT in order to raise its productivity, manage its cost and become more innovative. They are reacting to cost pressures, but more importantly rather than simply shrinking IT – they are looking to transform it. Companies are looking to create that new type of IT, one that is more responsive, faster, and business aware.
- Many CIOs are in new roles or with new companies, most in office for about 7 months or so. This indicates that many companies have made the decision that they type of IT they had is not the type of IT they wanted in the future. This means that many CIOs are looking to learn a new culture and changing that culture, process and results. One tool that can be helpful when you are new and the ‘stranger at the top’ is something called reflective reciprocity, particularly in an IT organization that is proud of what it has done in the past.
- CIOs are consolidating IT, bringing applications together, and rationalizing data centers and operations to take advantage of virtualization and other new technologies. They are less looking to take advantage of lighter weight technologies, rather than gaining scale efficiencies.
- CIOs are concerned about increasing responsiveness to the business and they are aware of a building backlog of projects created by tight budgets or resources applied to major ERP and other global initiatives. In these cases, CIOs need ways to address nuisance demand that eats away at the business and IT relationship. This can include deploying a job jar – a technique that time boxes company resources to address important but not urgent project demands.
- CIOs recognize that its time to change IT processes as many are losing their small project muscle in the face of tight budgets that increase the percentage of large project work they do as the large projects are almost too important/too big to postpone or allow to fail.
These are just the first wave of things that I have learned here in Cannes from talking with CIOs. I have another full day of talking with CIOs and hearing form, them and I will provide a follow-up post in a few days.
What are you hearing?