CIOs Need To Be Holistic Politicians

by Sunil Kumar    Aug 31, 2005

On the first day of the Gartner summit, the keynote address commenced with Andy Kyte vice president, research fellow stressing on the current state and future direction of IT. Discussing various technology trends including the consumerization of technology and the virtualization of infrastructure, he said the buzzword for IT organizations was process, standardization, repeatability and agility.

Speaking in the CIO track, on the future for IT organization and management, Craig Baty, group VP and chief of research said, “There are two kinds of CIOs, optimistic and pessimistic. The optimistic CIO would look at organizational dysfunction as an opportunity and form strategic planning assumptions for the same.” Some of the strategic planning assumptions, which he stressed on was that CIOs need to align IT with business value and also that CIOs need to handle disruption of technology.

According to him, one third of 2004 CIO roles would transform or disappear by 2009. The role of the CIO would change to a CTO, which in his terms would be a CIO+ business planner. He also stated that a CIO needed to be a consummate politician and use IT as a strategic tool. “CIOs need to spend more, reduce product delivery times and focus on domain expertise. Also, by 2010, there would be 30% fewer in-house IT jobs and as roles changed, IT would be used as a facilitator. CIOs also need to discuss capabilities in-house and focus on emerging models and best practices for rationalization of payment processes,” stated Baty.

Discussing the commoditization of services, he said by 2010, 50% of IT organizations will have to refocus on brokering services and shaping business demands rather that on plain deliverables. He also said CIOs needed to be proactive rather than reactive.

On IT as a business transformation tool, Eric Goh, vice president-marketing, HP Asia Pacific & Japan said priotizing knowledge per se and collaborating for innovation would eventually lead to a journey towards an adaptive enterprise which met rapidly changing business and IT needs.

Meanwhile on the issue of managing change complexity in financial service institutions, Deb Ghosh, chief architect - TIBCO Software India, maintained, “Bridging the gap between IT and business assets would involve changing a calamity into an opportunity and involve service oriented abstraction to a higher degree.”

Discussing the future of infrastructure circa 2015, Geoff Johnson, vice president-research, Gartner and Kobita Desai, principal analyst, Gartner spoke on the problem with current infrastructure, also that all real resources require virtualization with the pooling of IT resources in such a way that masks the physical nature and boundaries of those resources from resource users. They spoke about defining IT infrastructure in terms of services rather than describing hardware assets. Their recommendations were that CIOs should think strategically, but start now.

According to the duo, CIOs need to consider that PDAs could be marginalized by smartphones, also since information management was a key, the conservative propensity of CIOs in the APAC region needed to be changed, mobility needed to be encouraged and process innovation needed to be encouraged. Total Value of Opportunity (TVO)/ Value on Investment (VoI) was a parameter that needed to be considered and security and management was a parameter that CIOs needed to consider.

Concluding the day’s proceedings, Partha Iyengar, vice president - research harped on the fact that the strongest growing ICT market was in India. The key vertical in India was the government and that captive centers needed to reach critical mass. He also mentioned that cost arbitrage could be due to political instability in India and that a rethink was needed on the curriculum in India.

According to Iyengar, “In the APAC region, Intellectual Property leakage was the biggest issue CIOs had to contend with. In terms of the cyberthreat hype cycle it was to move from the trough of irrelevance to the plateau of permanent annoyance. A move from intrusion detection to intrusion prevention was needed. Vulnerability management also had to be assessed.”

The maximum growth Gartner expected in mobile technologies was in the APAC region with the principal growth engines being China and India.