Q&A: Three Tech Movements CIOs Should Know

Sharyn Leaver

On Tuesday of this week I hosted a webinar along with Ted Schadler and John Rymer — "Harnessing Key IT Trends — Three Tech Movements CIOs Should Know." As promised, below are the answers to attendee questions that we weren’t able to cover during the webinar.

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Disease, drug wars and data centers

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Just thinking about Mexico and the cards it was dealt getting blamed for swine flu. I was recently in Europe, and was surprised to hear friends refer to H1N1 as the “grippe mexicaine” or “Mexican flu”. There is even a dedicated website by the same name — grippemexicainehttp://www.lagrippemexicaine.com/. You don’t hear that in the US. We may demonize the swines but not our neighbors, the Mexicans. But, even the Mexican press attributes the outbreak to local pigs, hence the theory this particular flu had its origins in Mexico.  That theory or the flu itself is blamed in part for the severity of their economic downturn – along with the global financial crisis (and in particular its dependence on the US) and domestic drug wars.

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New Technology Trends Shift IT Skill Requirements

Marc Cecere

Are you implementing or considering technologies, such as Social Computing and Cloud-based platforms?  Is IT positioned to exploit these technologies?

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Do You Have A Handle On Game-Changing IT Trends?

Sharyn Leaver

Maybe it’s because it’s planning season. Maybe it’s because they’re just tired of focusing on cost-cutting and incremental improvements. Or maybe the IT to Business Technology (BT) shift – where the boundary between IT and the business is blurred as businesses become ever more technology dependent and technologically savvy – is becoming a reality and pushing CIOs to stay even further ahead of their business counterparts.

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In Search of Catalyzing Events

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bélissent [Posted by Jennifer Bélissent]

Certain events serve as wake-up calls. In the case of some, the anticipation of these events is enough to spark action or change behavior – maybe even spur technology investment. As technology marketers, we need to recognize the opportunity that these events provide. Obviously, we also need to be ready to exploit them.

Which events could be catalyzing events from a technology purchasing decision? It could be as simple as the approach of a new millennium: Y2K fears spurred major investment. New regulation is an easy one to identify: IT buyers scrambled to upgrade security and implement data archiving and discovery software after the passage of the EU Data Protection Act and subsequent country-level legislation, as was also the case following passage of HIPAA, SOX, Basel II and others. The events of 9/11 certainly spurred concerns about cyber and other types of security. More recently, following last week’s blackouts in Brazil, leaders issued new commitments to energy reform. Natural disaster, crime waves and other negative events also catalyze technology investments.

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Are IT departments in Asia Pacific still focused on IT process improvement?

Tim Sheedy

Recent research undertaken by Forrester across Asia Pacific has indicated that while there is clearly a strong drive to improve the efficiency of IT systems, this will not often be through the implementation of process improvement systems, such as ITIL or CMM.

 
Major IT Management Themes In Asia Pacific
Forrester BDS data
Source: Enterprise Global Technology Adoption Survey, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, And Africa, Q1 2009
 

 

So why has interest in these processes suddenly plummeted in Asia Pacific? While I have no strong evidence of the answer to the question, the many discussions I have had with IT leaders across the region leads me to believe that a number of factors have lead organizations to delay or put a stop to their ITIL process improvements and their broader ITSM initiatives. 

 

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Are IT Benchmarks Useful?

Marc Cecere

by Marc Cecere

Recently, Forrester surveyed a number of CIOs to collect benchmark data on staffing ratios and spending. This is a new initiative within Forrester and one that is not yet complete. We did this for three reasons:

 

  1. Benchmark questions (called inquiries at Forrester) on staffing have become relatively common. Examples are “Can you tell us the average share of IT Staff as a % of total staff by organization size” and “Would you have specific spending figures for IT infrastructure?”. 
  2. This kind of data in conjunction with other data and analysis can identify problem areas. 
  3. Staffing benchmark data along with spending and other data are objective measures of IT organizations. 

Though our initial sample size is small a preliminary view of the data shows that:

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The CIO And Social Media: Social Evangelist?

Nigel Fenwick

Following on from my last post - "The CIO And Social Media: Social Police?" – you might have guessed I’m a big proponent of Social Computing to drive organizational transformation and increase profits.

The thing is, I wonder how many CIOs see themselves as social evangelists.  You’re a CIO...

  • Are you on Twitter?
  • Do you have a full profile on LinkedIn?
  • How about Facebook?
  • Do you understand how your marketing organization is leveraging social media?
  • Do you have a role as social advocate in the organization?

I believe one important role of the CIO is to help peers in the business to better understand just how transformational social media can be to helping increase growth and/or drive productivity to improve the bottom line.

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Social means business

Rob Koplowitz

Rob-Koplowitz by Rob Koplowitz

Last week at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference we found more evidence of the changing nature of enterprise collaboration. Both customers and vendors provided evidence that social networking was quickly moving into the enterprise landscape and warrants the attention due a potential game changer. There are three trends that warrant attention:

  • Forward thinking organizations are developing broad collaboration strategies that embrace social networking while recognizing and managing associated risk. In fact, it is becoming clear that a well managed strategy with regard to social in the enterprise should lower risk associated privacy, security and compliance. Sounds counter-intuitive? Well, transparency is a beautiful thing.
  • The vendor landscape is vibrant. At many conferences these days, the standard refrain is "in this economy". Not here. Vendors are investing heavily in new capabilities and are being rewarded with robust business. 
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"He don't know it's a d---- show, he thinks it a d---- fight"

Rob Koplowitz

Rob-Koplowitz By Rob Koplowitz

Great line from Rocky, one of my favorite movies, as Apollo Creed's manager recognizes that the underdog needs to be taken more seriously. In this particular scenario Cisco is the underdog. I'm currently listening to Cisco's vision for collaboration and in this market, they are an underdog. Microsoft is the 800 pound gorilla and IBM is a pretty big beast as well. In a market dominated by a small number of software powerhouses, why do we want to take Cisco seriously? For a few reasons:

  1. The market is going through multiple disruptions: the move to the cloud, the move to unified communications, the increasingly pervasive adoption of Web 2.0 technologies, etc. A market in disruption is an opportunity.
  2. Cisco is already a player. Really. WebEx is a big part of many organization's collaboration portfolio and was the first commercially successful SaaS based collaboration offering. They own a lot of eyeballs and they are good at SaaS. The Jabber acquisition was a key move that is just beginning to show full value by delivering standards based presence and IM across the entire portfolio.
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