“Futurist & Archivist” (Chapter 4)

As CIO, you have always had to manage what must be the ultimate CIO Paradox, supply versus demand.

Before the consumerization of IT, the demand for new technologies come only from the top-management. But this is no longer the case.


A challenge wrought by technology consumerization:

  • brand new CIO Paradox: The business is getting smarter about technology, but your job is getting harder.


The reality now is that large-scale adoption of new technologies takes place outside the enterprise first; by the time consumers lay their favorite new technologies at the CIO’s door, the demand for that technology is already widespread and staggering.


To be successful in adapting these changes, you have to:


Learn to Sell Legacy Improvements

  • Change your outdated technologies with newer ones that maximizes efficiency.
  • If you cannot sell improvements, you will never break the paradox, and you will always be burdened with legacy.
  • The more you are burdened by legacy technologies, the more time you will spend managing your infrastructure and the greater the likelihood your business partners will get antsy and start making their own technology decisions.



Focus on Architecture

  • Take note that that there is no other organization that undergoes paradigm shifts quite so frequently as IT.
  • IT is like a teenager living with his grandparents. He is changing every day, and they don’t understand him.
  • With consumerization and cloud services, the role of IT moves from integrator of solutions to orchestrator of solutions.
  • IT’s new role as orchestrator: the IT organization’s ability to deliver in this new cloud based, consumer-based computing environment relies on its having a disciplined architecture.



Just like what NIKE says…Just Do It

Here are a few sets of principles when developing new technology strategies & products:

  1. No more incumbents. Do not be the traditional technology solution providers. All enterprise software providers have the same fundamental flaws: poor quality, a lack of innovation, and no incentive to change.

  2. Find the entrepreneurs. Work with entrepreneurs who can bring the advancements they’ve made in other industries into your organization or industry.

  3.  Let the data stay put. Work with partners who resist the urge to put all of the data in a gigantic data warehouse. That’s an old way of thinking. Index the data where it is.

  4.  Know the data analytics provider marketplace. Partner with firms that have the capability to provide you with insights you never had before. Getting to the data is one thing but making sense of it is another.

  5. Get rid of legacy devices. Learn how to adopt to changes, embrace innovation. People now tend to multitask; newer devices and technologies gives them that access and capability.



Tighten Your Connection to the Business

  • Use data to demonstrate that the organization is more secure and cost effective when IT is involved in technology decisions.
  • When it comes to technology, you want what you want when you want it, and often act like toddlers when you don’t get it; particularly when the company is losing money because of a technology problem that you don’t understand (and cannot control).
  • Develop the ability to use data to diffuse the problem.
  • Remember that when you are faced with a system outage the sooner you can get to the facts the sooner you can move past the conflict and toward a solution.




The era of consumerization and mobility has made IT delivery faster and easier. But for most, it has caused an increase in business demand that has the potential to overwhelm.

The number one challenge is running new things on old iron.

Here are actions you can take:

  • Manage the intersections with the business. The tighter your connection points to your company’s most important business leaders, the more integrated and efficient your infrastructure. The people who straddle the business and IT will determine your success.
  • Revisit old assumptions: We are right in the middle of a major technology paradigm shift, one that is greater—I would wager—than the digital revolution of the late 90s. ask yourself the following questions:
    • When was the last time you took a close look at your architecture?
    • Does your “belief system” hold up in the current environment?
    • Have you assessed your vendors in our new world of software as a service?
    • Are your traditional vendors the right partners for the future?
  • Make a compelling case for legacy improvements: Whether you use maps, data or burning platforms, you need to be able to sell the unsexy & unattractive side of IT.


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