By Don Hill Gartner group vice-president Craig Baty has issued a wakeup call to CIOs. “Today’s CIOs need to be able to demonstrate the business value of IT in the same way that other business units have been required to do in the past,” he says.
Gartner says there is no major technology disconnect predicted for 2003. It will be a year of consolidation and optimisation of technology assets to positively impact business processes and ultimate performance.
Major technology disconnects such as Y2K and GST in Australia have spurred, in the last few years, frantic purchasing of new software, hardware and general upgrades. From now on, a CIO’s request to invest in particular IT projects will be judged against the value it can deliver to the whole enterprise.
Baty, head of research for Gartner Asia/Pacific and Japan, says technology consolidation, new enterprise architecture, and the move to the real-time enterprise will be the three focus areas that will shape the technology landscape beyond 2003, says Gartner.
The focus on delivering business value represents a challenge for vendors as the sales cycle will be longer, and the sell on new products, services and upgrades – a lot harder.
The move to the real-time enterprise represents the exploitation of existing internet technologies with new measures of cost and leadership necessary to accelerate the shrinking of major cycle times. Cost savings will be the end result.
Gartner predicts that the velocity of business processes and related information acquisition will continue to increase dramatically. Speed underlies many management strategies including just-in-time inventory and time-based competition. The only way to survive, let alone succeed will be to ensure that an enterprise can operate in real time.
“Achievement of a true real time enterprise requires architecture to provide the framework for new ways of doing business in a connected world,” Baty says. “This means enterprises must ensure their architecture supports a real-time enterprise. It’s the way their competitors will be going, so they must be ready to compete in the game.
As a consequence of the focus on the real-time enterprise, demonstrating the business value of IT, and the need for new enterprise architecture, Gartner’s top 10 predictions for the future of IT over the next decade are:
1. Bandwidth becomes more cost-effective than computing.
2. Most major new systems will be interenterprise.
3. Macroeconomic boost from interenterprise systems.
4. In aggregate, successful firms in strong economy lay off millions.
5. Continued consolidation of vendors in many segments.
6. Moore’s law continues to hold true through this decade.
7. Banks become primary provider of Presence Services by 2007.
8. Business activity monitoring is mainstream by 2007.
9. Business units, not IT, will make most application decisions.
10. Pendulum swings back from centralized to decentralised by 2004.