CIO WaterCooler Blog

Providing IT on the CHEAP?

CIO to CRO – Chief Revolution Officer?

Thankfully, in this age of “build ‘em up, knock ‘em down” business models, where organisations have to keep a weather eye on the market and potentially disruptive new entrants (what price “Porter’s Five Forces Model” these days?) at a massively increased pace over even ten years ago, we now see IT in its true light – strategic driver.

I don’t want to wander into the world of “DevOps” in this little missive. I’m more interested in how the world of the CIO has changed through various phases:

Board-level ‘glorified IT Manager’
Board-level executive with responsibility for anything which is touched by a computer
Board-level interface between peers and the IT function
Soon-to-be-replaced-by-Chief Marketing Office Board member
Chief Revolution Officer
This has gone through an increasing wave of responsibility, through a minor hiccup to the point now where the role of a CIO is becoming more entrepreneurial and a key driver of the business. The CIO holds the “keys to the kingdom” in terms of a panoramic view of what is available in the IT and services market and the team which can be managed, directed, coerced or pushed towards delivering the new orthodoxy in a business.

CIOs: Replace your 5-Year IT Plan with a 500-day Software Defined Plan

Software Defined NetworkingIT strategic planning – the next 5 years or 500 days?

A number of discussions arose from my last blog series on CIO Dialogues regarding the future of business IT Strategies both in the private and public sectors. Many CIOs raised concerns about disruptive technologies (in particular Software Defined “things”) are changing the CIO role and its ability to continuously provide the right, effective services back to the business.  It is apparent that no matter in what industry you are in, everything is moving at a faster pace than ever before – and with less predictability.  Consequently, CIO’s can no longer develop their traditional five-year IT plans and be relatively safe in their “predictions.”   Today they need to move faster than ever whilst ensuring a stable technological infrastructure for their business.  This means they can only think in terms of “near-future IT strategies” – 12-18 months maximum (about 500 days).

Hubble, Bubble, Tablet & Trouble

Take one laptop, add a pinch of tablet (any flavour), smart phone and wearable, and simmer gently adding liberal sprinkle of home device as required. Serve on a bed of self-regulation, et voila; Trouble is served!

And so begins the normal route to what some would call a mobile strategy. Except this isn’t anything of the sort. It isn’t a strategy but rather a hotch-potch of technologies loosely cobbled together with no concept of the complete picture, nor what is actually being achieved.

Most modern enterprises have a need for varying numbers of their staff to be mobile. Presenting to clients, travelling to different offices, working from home, working on the move, as part of a flexible working program, present in a meeting room, working in a common space in the office or taking notes at a conference. The truism that ‘work is something we do, not someplace we go’ has never been more relevant.

There are many enablers for this trend, but the main one is that we are all being asked to do more, in the same amount of time, with a broader group of people, and with the traditional millstone of ‘place’ gradually being cut free.

Don’t Be an Ostrich: Cloud Makes Software Your Competitive Advantage | 10th Magnitude

Cloud Back in 2010, our premise was that cloud was going to change the world because it would allow us to build cool custom software for companies that couldn’t have afforded it before: we would economically build and operate low-risk custom SaaS applications in the cloud. That was a software-powered world, 2010 style.