The century post

In our 100th blog post on CxO Unplugged, Logicalis President and COO Mark Rogers takes a look at highlights and IT trends from the previous ninety-nine.

The first posting on CxO Unplugged back in January 2012 made a commitment not to use this blog as a platform for corporate positioning - rather to offer insight as to how boardrooms can maximise the value of technology bearing in mind the opportunities and threats it presents.

Having reviewed the past ninety-nine posts it’s clear to me that we have been true to our word, and it is interesting to look back at the spread of topics we have covered.

Perhaps not surprisingly, strategy has featured heavily.  We’ve clearly taken the ‘CxO view’, whether looking at boards’ practical approach to mobility, the changing role of the CIO or top-level issues like reducing friction in an organisation to create the ‘aerodynamic business’. The desire amongst senior IT executives to find more time to focus on strategy was the stand-out finding from our global CIO survey in 2013 – a survey we will be revisiting, with updated research, in a few weeks time.

Mobility and BYOD

Given that global mobile phone users now number over 7bn, with 56% using smartphones (up from 6bn and 35% in 2011), BYOD and mobility have featured heavily.

There is no doubt that businesses the world over are still wrestling with challenges associated with such an explosion of device adoption, and demand from employees who wish to use their own devices. Dealing with those challenges has not always been successful, as our research with Ovum found in November 2012.

The cloud and virtualisation

Cloud computing and virtualisation have also been major topics of discussion. Indeed Wikipedia refers to our executive summary “SDN for the non-technical”, which has also been referred to in a number of press articles.

We proposed in March this year that SDN (and software defined other things like Data Centre) will usher in big transformations in how we design, deploy, operate and provision IT services over the next 20 years – as was the case with mobility two years ago. There are sceptics, of course, but once adoption reaches a tipping point there will be no holding back the tide.

Consumerisation and Big Data

One consequence of the consumerisation of IT and massive uptake of social media models is the generation of Big Data. The challenge here is not just how to store and secure that data in the face of issues like the US Patriot Act and EU data protection directives, but also how to make some sort of sense out of it.

It was telling that our global survey revealed last year that CIOs and CTOs, given the time, would like the opportunity to tackle Business Analytics. It will be interesting to see if they have made any headway when we publish the outcome of this year’s survey.

The changing role of the CIO

Over the last few years, we have also seen increasing maturity in approaches to IT services; BYOD becomes mobility, outsourcing becomes managed services and in turn develops into ITSM, and CIOs find that their line of business colleagues are taking the lead on how IT budgets are allocated.

There can be no doubt that the role of the CIO and the traditional IT department is changing. Instead of managing technology, they will increasingly manage experiences, developing and offering well-defined service portfolios that will drive the emergence of ‘Service Defined Enterprises”.

Suppliers are not exempt from these changes and the onus is on them to ensure they provide services that optimise business, technology investments and IT operations that, in short, bring business and technology together to work as one.

Judging by the amount of traffic to this site and the increasing level of shares across various social media platforms, many of our readers clearly appreciate our efforts - so it only remains for me to thank you for reading and welcome you to the next one hundred posts.

Tags IT trends, IT Trends