Gartner: revolutionise thinking to embrace the future of IT.
That was the key message at the opening session of the Gartner Symposium IT -Expo in Orlando.
"Mature technologies are code for obsolete," said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research.
"IT leaders must embrace the post-modern business, a business driven by customer relationships where the customer is everywhere, and so must your business; a world fuelled by the explosion in information, collaboration, and mobility, enabled by the cloud," said Sondergaard. "You must pursue simplicity by putting people and their needs at the center of design. You must dare to employ creative destruction to eliminate legacy, and selectively destroy low impact systems.
"A post-modern business is one that completely rethinks the status quo of business and embraces dramatically new relationships with its customers, suppliers, and partners," said Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner fellow. "In the post-modern business, your business has no walls. It must be everywhere. It will be a virtual and fluid business that changes as customers change. In the post-modern business, you will forget phrases such as 'business architecture' and embrace phrases like customer delight, customer involvement, and customer intimacy. In the post-modern business, customer and constituent demands on you will change faster than your architectures."
IT leaders have to delight customers who are more informed about their products in changing markets than ever before, analysts believe. Customers want to know the business cares about their immediate concerns, so CIOs have to capture the interest of customers whose attentions span is shorter, through customer intimacy.
"In a world where the average company only lasts 10 years, every added point of customer satisfaction alone could add one year to the life of your business," Plummer said. "Post-modern businesses don't spend all their money just on customer loyalty programs. They invest in company loyalty to the customers."
Businesses are becoming post-modern by leveraging the trends of the age. One of these trends is cloud computing. Gartner analysts said that most people don't realise that cloud computing is about more than just cost savings.
According to analysts, cloud computing is also about specialisation. Cloud service providers are specialists who focus all their attention on doing one thing such as email, HR, or managing servers. These specialists support consumers who pick the services they want to use from the providers they want to work with. Trading solutions across a large chain of cloud services adds complexity that must be tamed. This will result in the emergence of cloud brokerages.
"Cloud brokerages can aggregate, integrate, govern, or customize cloud services to make those services more specific to the needs of the consumers," Plummer added. "They will re-imagine business, and post-modern businesses will even re-imagine the roles that IT departments will play. Three out of 10 IT organisations will become cloud brokers for their business, and that is one way they will survive."
The main reasons behind the need for such a move is the explosion of information, collaboration and mobility, enabled by the cloud," he said. "IT leaders must embrace the post-modern business, a business driven by customer relationships where the customer is everywhere, and so must your business."
Some interesting facts driving the need for such dramatic changes include Gartner analysts predictions that by 2014 CIOs will have lost effective control of 25% of their organisations IT spending, by 2016 the installed base of mobile PCs and smart phones will exceed that of desktop PCs and by 2015, mobile application development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber PC projects by 4 to 1.
"Most IT organisations have 70% or more of their time, money and mindshare locked into reliability, keeping things going," said Tina Nunno, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Never taking risks means you are predictable and an easy target for your competition."
Many IT departments are thought of as excellent service providers to their business, Gartner said. While being a great service provider is difficult to do, service and leadership cannot always live in the same space. IT leaders should stop taking demands and requirements and start making recommendations. They need to turn those requests into strategic discussions.
Gartner analysts went on to say IT leaders must destroy perfectionism and embrace calculated risk. CIOs tend to be perfectionists who are highly detail-oriented. It's what has made so many of them good at their jobs. However, it can sometimes lead to issues with risk and uncertainty.
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