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Are CIOs in Denial?

by Andrea Di Maio  |  May 9, 2013  |  Comments Off on Are CIOs in Denial?

Yesterday I attended a Gartner event held in Milan, where the Italian analyst team addressed over 300 executive-level clients on how the so-called nexus of forces, i.e. the confluence of social, cloud, mobile and information (big data)  is going to create new business opportunities, disrupt existing business models and challenge the IT department.

In one session, six executives from IT vendor organizations were put on stage and asked a number of questions. They would answer individually in a range from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”, and then the audience would express their opinion on the question.

For most of the questions, differences among vendors and between the vendors and the audience were rather predictable and made for a good dynamic.

Then came the question about whether people think that the price drop in increasingly commoditized IT services will not be compensated by increased volumes. Basically the question wanted to probe what people thought about the combined impact of consumer technology and public cloud creeping into the enterprise.

All vendors responded that they strongly disagreed. I think that was the only question where they all had the same answer. Actually none of the vendors was in the consumer space so what else should one expect? Of course they believe they will be able to both sell enough volume and loads of value added services.

What struck me was that also the majority of the audience agreed. Even if I discount a few vendors in the mix, this means that most IT executives in enterprises believe that nothing will really change, that they will keep buying more lower-cost services and a whole lot of new value-adding services, pretty much from the same vendors.

As I look at the struggle of imposing an enterprise collaboration tool over a consumer one, at the acceleration of BYOD, at the increasing use of public cloud, and at the reality that CIOs are playing catch-up with some of these trends, I suspect people are putting their heads in the sand.

Although different industries will go through this transformation at different speed, one thing is for sure: in many cases the CIO will be caught by surprise or in the middle. And that’s not a good place to be.

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Category: it-management  

Tags: italy  nexus-of-forces  

Andrea Di Maio
Managing VP
19 years at Gartner
33 years IT industry

Andrea Di Maio is a managing vice president for public sector in Gartner Research, covering government and education. His personal research focus is on digital government strategies, open government, the business value of IT, smart cities, and the impact of technology on the future of government Read Full Bio

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