I’ve met many CIOs, all with their own unique challenges and approaches to overcome them. But despite their differences, all CIOs ask me the same question: “what is the next big technology trend that I should look out for?”
It’s a tough question — not because there is a shortage of emerging tech trends out there. The tough part is whittling down all of trends to the really big ones — I mean the ones that could really change the way we do business. So all through 2009, my answer was: 1) consumerization of IT (what we at Forrester refer to as Groundswell), 2) lean IT, and 3) cloud computing. For those interested, you can still view the Three Tech Movements CIOs Should Know webinar I did with colleagues Ted Schadler and John Rymer late last year.
There is certainly no shortage of books to read about how to do a better job in 2010. One of those just noted is "8 Things We Hate About IT" by Susan Cramm. Given a quick review of the list, probably a better way to title it would be “8 Beaten-to-Death Clichés” about IT-business relationships.
This caught my eye recently in a CIO-focused publication. Titled “Ten Ways To Re-energize Your IT Workforce”, it is advice from a workforce motivation expert: “Jon Gordon, a consultant for the NFL and numerous Fortune 500 enterprises, and the author of ‘The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change.’ He offers ten recommendations for reenergizing and engaging employees in the face of economic turmoil.”
This past summer, Forrester conducted a series of in-depth interviews of CIOs (as well as some directors of IT planning and finance) to get a better understanding of their roles: how they see the role in the context of their organizations, how they are evaluated by senior management, their key success imperatives, and their information needs. We sat down with each of them for an hour to help shape how we support the most senior executives within IT.
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.
It has been an interesting year – who would have thought that the federal government would have done such a thing – provided a Federal IT Dashboard of allocation of federal IT dollars to investments for all of us out there in citizen-land to read? Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, announced it and the keyword of the effort that made the headlines is "radical transparency." It’s very clever in its design and visuals – "mashup ready." It would be especially appealing if the shell of the software would be made available to anyone who wants it – since some real (taxpayer) money went into this project.
We had a pretty good idea recently (or so we thought) to look at the relationship between CIOs and their strategic vendor partners. The idea was to take a different perspective — ask the vendors for best practices and for not-so-great practices — hoping for examples that could be used to guide CIOs. So we made a list of likely strategic vendors for CIOs — the likes of HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP — and pushed a request out to multiple vendor analyst relations contacts.
Forrester has made a series of downward revisions to its IT market forecasts in 2008 and early 2009. And according to my colleague Andy Bartels’ latest analysis - "US And Global IT Market Outlook: Q2 2009" -there is more weakness ahead. Due largely to the breakdown of the financial system and the resulting credit crunch, steep drops in the purchases of equipment, software, and IT services during Q4 2008, Q1 2009, and probably Q2 2009 mean that purchase levels are close to hitting bottom. Forrester predicts that the latter part of 2009 will see: