I was recently interviewed by IDG research for their whitepaper on IT priorities titled Clouds, business issues and time management dominate the CIO’s world in 2013. I took that opportunity to share my viewpoint on CIO priorities for 2013. And then, I read with great interest an HP newsletter titled “Collaborate to maximize business value from strategic information, featuring Gartner research.” This insightful newsletter issues specific calls to action to CIOs, based on the Strategic Information Management needs of the enterprise. There is a striking resemblance between the two. The CIO priorities, outlined from the perspectives of cloud and information management, reinforce what is found in the HP Newsletter.
To re-categorize these priorities, let’s look at how they are driven primarily by five forces: business, customers, innovation, finance and governance. I’ve paraphrased the actual findings for clarity, but you can refer to the actual papers for more in-depth analysis.
- IDG Research: CIOs are shifting their attention from technical matters to business issues.
- HP Newsletter: CIOs must practice deflecting requests for technology into discussions of the change.
This is not surprising. The decision to deploy solutions in the Cloud has always been driven by the business needs of the enterprise. But CIOs still need to extend this pattern when addressing technical requests by first determining underlying, business-driven root cause of the request.
- IDG Research: Cloud computing is breeding a new generation of customer-focused CIOs.
- HP Newsletter: CIOs should have a high-level, five-year information outlook.
Shareholders (read: customers) are driving IT to the Cloud. At the same time, enterprises need to be at least as social as their customers. Customers are using social media channels and providing brontobytes of data. There is no doubt this data will impact the information outlook for the enterprise.
- IDG Research: IT executives continue to have insufficient time for innovation
- HP Newsletter: CIOs work with their internal IT team to identify, create staff for, and train information-focused job roles.
CIOs need to take steps today to innovate the planet for 2020. IDG Research finds that IT executives have insufficient time for innovation. HP Newsletter calls for CIOs to revitalize the skills of the IT staff. How about starting by having the sexiest job of the 21st Century?
IDG Research states that IT leaders increasingly share budget control with their business counterparts. Business units have IT options today that did not exist in the past. As I said in the IDG Research paper, “CIOs are no longer the sole driver of IT.” With that, I’ve created my own new call to action for CIOs, based on value. To achieve long-term value CIOs must have the mechanisms in place to assess their Return on Information.
In the past, I’ve explained how we can build upon SOA Governance to realize Cloud Governance, but let’s not forget the need for governing data. Governance is vital for the most valuable asset in the enterprise—information! This is echoed in the HP Newsletter, which issues a call to action for the CIO to evolve an Information Governance model.
Finally, focusing on these priorities—from these perspectives—will ensure that CIOs have a viable strategy when transforming the right way to the Cloud while informationalizing the data to realize the big picture. Regardless of the drivers, what is vital is that CIOs execute effectively upon these priorities because they have to take the right steps today to Innovate Planet Earth for 2020!