Sunday, January 27, 2013

Seven Perspectives of IT in 2020


There are many positive, long term perspectives at the beginning of 2013 to ponder what will be happening in 2020, what is the mega-trends for business dynamic as well as global society, from service commodification to consumerization of IT, from internet of things to pervasive computing, from mega-city to global village, the world changes every day, Information and technology play significant role in weaving a brighter picture of business and world, also connecting digital dots in innovation & globalization.

But, more specifically, what will IT organization look like and what IT leadership need to be. Here are seven perspectives during the next seven-year journey.

1.    CIO & IT Leadership 

  • IT has a strategic significance in the 2020 business. So does CIO role. And you cannot buy that leadership. It needs ownership and vision from within. IT fundamental purpose has been to make the business better. Better able to make the right decisions with better information. Better able to drive down costs by automating expensive manual processes. Better able to provide excellent customer experiences. Better able to deliver competitive advantage. 
  • CIO is translated as Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Officer or Chief Intrepreneur Officer., etc, CIO's personas include business strategist, technology visionary, talent master, customer champion, under such strong leadership, IT is closely engaged with the business, working in partnership to develop the art of the possible. So the CIO and IT leadership team must "get" the business. The more that delivery staff "get" the business too, the better the IT-rich business transformations will be. 

2.    IT From Monolithic to Mosaic 

  •  More proactive IT: compared to today's reactive mode, future of IT need be more proactive, The role of the CIO is to drive the corporate vision and strategy through effectiveness and innovation in the knowledge and Information channels. The CIO has to look forward and proactively position the business in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities.
  •  From Monolithic to Mosaic: IT Built to Change, Not Built for Last: Digital technology is transforming IT from monolithic back-office into mosaic business solution center, agility, resilience, flexibility, etc. are the new characteristics for modern IT as business solution that optimize mega-systems
  • Stick to Value-Adding: Cloud providers remain fixated on commodity, low-cost services, and then an internal IT group ought to find it relatively easy to remain relevant, by simply focusing on the business processes that drive competitive advantage. Understand the business and how it fits together, work out effective and efficient ways to operate in each area and make sure it all hangs together and implement reliably and securely.

3.    IT From Infrastructure Builder to Power Broker & Strategist 

  • IT Departments play with a consultancy and systems-integration role. Their focus is no longer scattered and spread thin between end-user support and 'visionary' technology specialist, but instead they are now able to more effectively apply their adopted and applied knowledge and experience in a pro-active consultative manner, thus lowering the risk of 'hit and run' failed solution. In-house IT has been elevated to a new level and will remain an integrate part of the core foundation blocks of any successful organization.
  • IT is rule co-maker, not just order taker: Central IT’s responsibility shifts from “doing” to “setting the rules", articulating the means of integration and data management necessary to protect the business, and then auditing and governing compliance with these rules. Future of IT also focuses on digital touch point to optimize end customer experience, besides keeping the light on, then, IT can take strategic position to co-develop business goals/rules.
  •  IT will have a more strategic role. As organizations continue to focus on their core products and services, IT should function like any other business unit and help navigate innovation challenges and effectively apply technology (while not necessarily delivering it). The background of the typical IT role will shift from technically-centric to a more business-centric, strategic approach with a focus on understanding the business challenges, industry, consumer, products, and services of the organization and how to best leverage the technology/innovation. 

4. IT Focus on “I”-Driven Innovation 

The companies in the future who do innovation the best will be the most successful companies and that such the CIO and his/her team can (and must) make a difference that determines if the company is successful, innovative, ahead of the curve and thus a survivor.
  • IT Envision Business Transformation: futuristic technology is responsible for envisioning the implications of bigger changes: how workers work, how consumers consume and how suppliers supply. A primary function will be to constantly sweep technology's future horizon to identify emerging technologies that can provide competitive value to the organization before the competition - and then bring that technology into the enterprise 
  • From Information to Insight: If large amount of the enterprise's data now lives outside the walls of the enterprise, one of the chief roles of the CIO will be to ensure that those various data elements are stitched together in a meaningful fashion to transform it from silo data to business-actionable information. The business is structured around information flow and the IT organization will innovate within the value chain.
  •  From Cost Center to Innovation Center: IT is expected to move beyond the cost center model, becoming more innovative from a top & bottom line perspective, contributing to and possibly being the source of new revenue streams. Recognizing how technology is changing the marketplace- IT an entrepreneur, conceiving new business models built on technology and data, and helping create new products
  • Business Process Optimizer/Innovator. With technology innovation largely occurring outside of IT, the CIO must be relentless in looking for ways to drive technology-enabled business process innovation. In large part, this will require delicate negotiation skills to create a cohesive team out of a wide-spread and disconnected ecosystem of players that will be necessary to drive that innovation.

5. Abundance of Opportunities and Risks 

  • Democratization of IT: There are abundance of opportunities and risks existing in digital fabric, because IT is built upon technology and technology is constantly evolving, IT will always have the ability to transform the business if allowed; also because those requirements tend to lead to the description of business processes that cross departmental and business unit boundaries. so democratization is a good analogy for current trends
  • Every opportunity has risks: The wiser groups are already making adjustments, based on assuming the risk of the worst case scenario, from their long-term security perspective, will come true. In other words, they are already tooling up so as to articulate their value, now, in terms senior management understands
  • Governance: There will always be a need for governance, oversight and procurement (along side strategic sourcing). So internal IT at a minimum will need continue to play a role. There is nothing unusual about the concept of IT sharing power with those outside of it, as that is an essential attribute of IT Governance, where decision rights are based on corporate strategy.

6.    Pervasive IT & The Planet of Apps 

  • Pervasive IT: is when Internet of Things meets Machine Intelligence. In 2020, both our personal life and enterprise environment will surely become more digital, so the consumerization of IT will continue to converge with enterprise IT, internet of things will meet machine intelligence, IT role is to help connect such digital & innovative dots, and weave a more hyper-connected digital world. 
  • The Planet of Apps: APIs have been used as key enabler of such digital connector, creates significant new opportunities for enterprises to transform internally to a digital operating model and to engage externally with the evolving digital ecosystems. The best designed APIs are designed for a public audience, in order to get value among the long tail of developers. The APIs bring up the reality that there are just too many niches solutions that customers need to be served. No business will be able to do all of the scenarios. In a digital world, an API is a good interface to enable many distribution channels.
  • App-enriched Community Management: The ability to co-create in a digital ecosystem—A co-creation strategy treats customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active agents who have permission to combine the modular capabilities exposed in a platform to create new experiences. Sophisticated enterprises are starting to think more like a software company—as a platform and an ecosystem. This increase in APIs has led to the need for tools and services that help companies create, publish, manage, operate, and analyze APIs.

7.    Talent Paradox 


  • Talent Paradox: the talent paradox is making sure that organizations that want to compete around the world have a global portfolio of employees, e.g., employees with the right skills in the right location. From now to 2020, anticipate an increasing pace of change. Expect more entrepreneurial opportunities and expect your business not to survive if you don't grab them. You may well need plenty of external support to achieve this, but if you don’t have a core of people who get the technology and get the business strategy, you will be fleeced by opportunists and under-perform against your potential.
  • Embrace the DifferencesGenerational differences: Different generations have different goals, expectations. Global differences: Talent management and retention need to be viewed as a global art and science.Virtual Office & Virtual Team: Engage fluid groups of labor and paradox of talent perception
The future of IT will become more agile, resilient, smarter and business focused, and the future of IT leadership also need become more influential and transformational.

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