Sunday, February 2, 2014

How to Run IT as a ‘Digital Horse’?

IT as the digital horse needs to be intelligent and innovative, strategic and multi-dimensional.

As the world is riding into the Year of Horse, what’s CIO’s resolution, shall you run IT as a ‘digital horse’, as the horse is the symbol of energy, progress, and intelligence? There is an explosion of technologies related to IT today, between cloud, big data, social, mobile and APIs. Are these crucial things to know about and be doing something for today’s CIO? The speed of change is accelerating, but the business leader’s job is still the same - identify the goal, define success, determine how you'll measure progress towards the goal and how you'll monitor the ongoing service provision. And more importantly, how shall you continue the IT transformational journey, from a cost center to value creator.

The Nexus of Forces: Gartner refers SMAC-Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud, as the Nexus of Forces and, of course, IT leaders need to pay attention. Cloud computing is changing how businesses think about infrastructure and application procurement. Big Data is changing not just traditional areas of analytics but also how people manage most things in the future. Mobile is changing the customer relationship; the business is always on and needs to be always available, always relevant, and always helpful. It's not enough to offer services on IT terms anymore - it has to be on the consumers terms, when and where they want it. 

Cloud computing is here to stay, and will only get bigger and more mainstream for IT organizations. For adopting cloud, the main focus is optimization of financial, technical resources and efficient IT services management. It is always important to focus on improving your business, especially during tough times. Cloud provides ways to streamline OPEX and decrease CAPEX spending. Could cloud lift up IT as a Digital Unicorn-In today's world of IT, doing more with innovation is the key success factor for CIOs. So, they have to adopt cloud as a strategy, be it private or public, mostly hybrid, in how IT engages with people in business and on a personal basis. 

Big data is still catching with the mainstream. The foundation of businesses has remained the same, which is to provide quality services to their customer basis in an optimized and efficient manner. Big Data paired with social media can give consumer oriented company better insight into customer needs, desires, spending trends and lead to more profitable product introductions. Finding ways to get departmental and regular business managers access to the questioning is crucial to extracting full value from all these new technologies. There is a huge difference in how a data scientist views the world and wants to interact with data compared with a manager whose budget is adversely impacted by product returns and losing business to competing offers. As the tech matures and the technology becomes better understood by most of the enterprise, it will get better and become more valuable

Business Mobility: Cloud handles the optimization part while mobility provides the efficiency/ channel/segment alternatives, business is now always on, with multi-channel, multi-touch points. API have been around and will always be around and become more critical. They are the glue that sticks dissimilar tools together. One of the CIOs main responsibilities is to survey and keep themselves abreast of existing and future technologies available and see how they would be useful in their business environments. Adoption of these technologies has to be carefully considered in their particular business environments. What's good for the goose need not be good for the gander. 

Social Influence: Social makes the world smaller and interconnected.While cloud is the provisioning medium, the brand engagement is where most of the strategy comes in. While big data and social help identify the customer segment/ preferences, the fundamentals of IT management will revolve around brand engagement which is social collaboration, customer relationship management. While cloud and mobility implementations are easier to justify, the impact of big data and social media are comparatively more difficult. These also need a great deal of efforts, support and knowledge from the business community before the implementations bear fruit.

The current trends in big data, mobile, cloud, social indicate a set of technologies which are actively being pursued by organizations for implementation. The CIOs can build technology-based business capability, the digital horsepower with successful cloud adoption/migration as long as integrating the other areas like mobility, social and big data. Still, running a digital IT takes laser focus and up to the speed, Digital horse IT needs to be intelligent and innovative, strategic and multi-dimensional.


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