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Archive for July, 2012

CIO Agenda 2013

Churchill ClubThe central topic of the night was IT Consumerization at Churchill Club’s CIO Agenda 2013. Attendees of the talk included Karen Austin (CIO PG&E), Ben Fried (CIO Google), Bask Iyer (CIO Juniper), and Karenann Terrell (CIO Wal-mart). It seemed these CIOs had well embraced the notion that consumer technologies will drive IT strategy moving forward – something that has been well known since employees practiced BYOD when the iPhone penetrated businesses 5 years ago. The mantra now seems to be that CIOs want standards around routine, mundane tasks, as they concede that consumer choice will bring an ever increasing rate of rogue apps into the work environment. Cyber security was cited as the number one issue on the CIO’s mind. Interestingly Google’s CIO seemed to advocate for the strictest policies against rogue employees using whatever Apps and devices they want; this is the one company I expected to offer a near free for all due to its young and reputably innovative employee base.  I appreciated his perspective that IT must make its “employees great” in order to avoid the proliferation of foreign apps in the workplace, but I remain a skeptic that an IT department can keep pace with marketplace innovation. It was a commonly shared view at the talk that IT must delight its customers.

Here are a few of my thoughts on the subject:
1. Private clouds will protect some data if content silos are broken down, but the consumer demand for best of breed will continue to remain a force difficult for slower moving CIOs to contend with.

2. New apps will continue to proliferate when they enable superior productivity.  IT must focus on developing great solutions, where routine and mundane tasks can be modeled. Through the delivery of great services, trust can be established at a level that gets employees on board for the fight against cyber security threats.

3. Innovation requires insight. IT’s strongest play in enabling innovation in the firm is to capture and unlock big data – both explicit and implicit.

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