Today’s focus on the digital enterprise provides a significant opportunity to re-evaluate this traditional thinking and to break free from the simplistic constraints of cost containment.
Stories by Kevin Noonan
Being a digital leader means more than just a change in job title, writes Kevin Noonan of Ovum.
The old corporate stovepipes are starting to break down, says Kevin Noonan of Ovum. So how is this impacting the role of the CIO?
Today's IT managers face competing priorities, each demanding their time and attention. Unfortunately when the pressures stack up, innovation can often be seen as an unaffordable luxury. But that should not be the case, writes Kevin Noonan of Ovum.
The underlying value proposition for BYOD in the enterprise is undeniable, and it is already having a profound impact on many enterprises. Today, the question is no longer if BYOD should be implemented but how it should be implemented, and what part it should play in the strategic vision of the enterprise.
Innovation is clearly one of the hot topics for today’s CEOs and industry leaders. The rationale is clear and sensible. Indeed, a number of sectors such as retail and publishing have already discovered the tough realities of a changing market.
Corporate directives can sometimes send mixed messages. Be innovative. Take risks. Cut costs. However, don’t touch core services, and if you stuff up you’re dead! Textbook advice on innovation is an excellent starting point, but it can only be a starting point. Each enterprise must confront the need for innovation within the context of its own business realities.
For more than two decades, ‘business alignment’ has been a favourite topic for conferences, surveys and training courses.
Based on a very simple rationale, business alignment correctly argues that no part of an enterprise can afford to pursue its own separate agenda. IT was singled out as an area needing special attention ahead of other parts of the enterprise. For some organisations the strategy worked well. For others, it created some serious unintended consequences. Technical complexity became undervalued, and technology enabled projects expanded in scope, cost and risk. Some organisations became trapped in a spiral of commodity IT cost-cutting and expensive project overruns. Today, some enterprises are breaking free and are redefining a new alignment agenda.
Big changes are brewing for today’s CIOs, as the days of internally focused cost cutting seem to be numbered. There is only so much any organisation can save through infrastructure efficiency and commodity panel contracts. The next big wave is likely to focus on productivity and business outcomes. Many CIOs are already taking advantage of opportunities offered by this broader remit, while others are still caught in a technology-based cost-cutting spiral.
Smartphones and tablets have become hot items for today’s tech-savvy consumers. The consumer technology market is on the move again and smart business leaders are offering a growing line-up of mobile applications and services. Over time, not all of these offerings will be successful. If the dotcom crash of the late 1990s has taught us anything, it is that leading-edge technology will inevitably fail if it is not backed by a sound business strategy.
Ten years ago, it would have been hard to imagine how far the online market could have progressed. Ecommerce and web services are now both common and profitable. Today, mobile technology is a top-of-mind issue for consumers. It has become the hot discussion topic at offices and dinner tables around Australia.
Smart phones and tablets have become hot items for today’s tech-savvy consumers. The consumer technology market is on the move again, and smart business leaders are hot on their trail with a growing lineup of mobile applications and services. Over time not all of these offerings will be successful. If the dotcom crash of the late 1990s has taught us anything, it is that leading edge technology will inevitably fail if it is not backed by a sound business strategy.
Ten years ago it would have been hard to imagine how far the online market could have progressed. E-commerce and web services are now both commonplace and profitable. Today, mobile technology is a top of mind issue for consumers. It has become the hot discussion topic at offices and dinner tables. When Woolworths recently released its iPhone app, 400,000 Australians are reported to have downloaded the app in just two weeks.
One of the IT industry’s most hotly debated problems might finally be coming to an end.
For years, IT managers have been chastised for not being sufficiently business focused. The lack of business alignment has been the topic of countless editorials, surveys and self-help groups. Perhaps the most enduring image has been the self imposed “wall” between Business and IT. This wall has emerged in many forms, either as organisational chart boundaries, or in senior committee and governance structures. Sometimes the differences have become so chronic that frustrated project managers have spoken openly about project specifications being “thrown over the wall”.
Just before Christmas, the NSW government announced a reverse on its position on intellectual property rights, in situations such as software developed for government under contract. This means the default position will now be that suppliers, not the government, will own intellectual property rights over newly developed systems.
The announcement was made when most of us were typically thinking about beer, barbecues and mistletoe, rather than the complexities of government procurement. Against this quiet backdrop however, the intellectual property announcement generated some stormy commentary and blog traffic from those in the IT industry.
We’ve all heard the arguments before: Why isn’t government able to leverage its combined buying power?
Can’t all agencies buy as a single block? The logic is simple and undeniable, but history has shown the many practical problems seem to confound any attempts to make lasting changes. Perhaps some recent developments in the UK may provide another way of looking at the problem.
For a long time, the IT services sector has been seen as the industry's engine room for growth. However there are big changes in store. And these could very well shape the sector we have come to know in new ways.
IT services are diverse in nature and largely dominated by outsourcing, systems integration and IT contracting.
What is it about benefits realisation that makes it so difficult? For many years, the mere mention of those two words could elicit an immediate cringe of pain from seasoned project managers. For many it was about as exciting as being reminded to mow the lawn. However, there are now signs that benefits realisation is coming back onto the management radar. This time there may be real progress and some lasting solutions.
The theory of benefits realisation is quite simple and very sensible:
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