Get ready for the disappearing IT department. Companies including Zappos, GameStop, Aetna and AccuWeather have restructured IT, sometimes radically, to respond to some harsh economic and technologic forces bearing down on CIOs.
Stories by Kim S. Nash
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You say we need to move from systems of record to systems of engagement. What's the difference?
Consumers check in on Foursquare. Your employees chat with customers on Facebook. Everyone tweets. Social media is everywhere, right? Not quite.
Shifting business intelligence and analytics off-premise can make financial sense, as it does with other applications. Instead of buying servers and software licenses up front as a large, sunk capital cost, paying monthly fees from operating budgets can be less expensive over the life of the application. But doing BI in the cloud also carries some particular challenges, one of which is that it can be hard to define in advance every type of report you want to run using cloud-based data.
Your new book is about managing strategy in turbulent times. What factors must a CIO, in particular, balance when responding to a crisis?
Are today's CIOs more innovative than they were 10 years ago?
Absolutely. But it's only 20 percent to 30 percent of CIOs who are innovative. More want to be, but organisations don't let them.
We've all heard the hype about a future of data-driven, always-connected devices where everything from cars to game consoles to refrigerators plays a role in the Internet of Things. We envision our household appliances tapped into the power grid, analyzing and fine-tuning electricity use. We expect our parked cars to one day use Wi-Fi to send traffic and weather forecasts to our office computers before we head out on the commute home.
Cloud computing promises the ability to move applications and systems to the location and platform that makes the most sense—in terms of risk and economics—at any given time.
Retailers, for example, can buy extra transaction-processing capacity during holiday shopping season and give it up when sales ebb. Financial services companies might buy infrastructure in which to test systems to support new products, then walk away from it when development is done. One cloud vendor may offer a better deal than another, prompting CIOs to switch providers.