Thoughts from the CIO 100 Symposium
Last week, I attended the CIO 100 Symposium in beautiful Colorado Springs and spoke at length with leaders from a wide range of industries and company sizes. Three themes emerged as hot topics:
The development of industry collaborative clouds (ICC's). This is the phenomenon where consumers of IT become suppliers, and groups of companies within an industry start their own collaborative initiatives. ICCs are driving new business models; in many cases, companies are forging multi-sided relationships — with data, processes, and cash changing hands. That said, the level of maturity and understanding of the impact of ICCs vary quite dramatically across industries.
We have recently published research in this area, both to clarify the various service providers available and also to provide CIOs with specific guidance on making the decision to participate in or even instigate an ICC.
Driving innovation and the transformation to digital business. A notable example of this phenomenon is a CIO I spoke to who is challenged with rebuilding her company’s sales and customer experience globally. She's working on a global initiative to connect over 100 data sources internally and externally to help agents and staff recommend and drive sales of complex product suites in highly regulated markets. She's picked one PaaS solution to drive the application rewrite of core legacy systems as well as to integrate with the myriad of data sources available. Leveraging a PaaS solution to rebuild, connect to new data sources and integrate systems to create new digital experiences is one of the hottest areas right now (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=US42186916).
We're currently in the midst of researching and analyzing the leading global PaaS providers. As an analyst, I must admit that going in depth in this area is illuminating. There are serious gains organizations can make here if they approach this right. I've spent a large portion of the summer talking to organizations how they've used various PaaS solutions to drive innovation: from niche car manufacturers creating self-learning digital supply chains and manufacturing operations to “startup.com's” with explosive growth.
We're publishing this report later this fall, so stay tuned. A lion-sized challenge surrounding PaaS opportunities is the level of talent investment and changes that need to be made.
Cloud governance. Governance strikes many as boring and mundane, but organizations with legacy IT are struggling hard with this issue. Organizations are facing four major challenges. 1.) Overspending on IT with redundant purchases; 2.) Security vulnerabilities exposed; 3.) Unhappy customers being communicated with through silos in the enterprise; and 4.) The most strategically relevant: the lack of integration and learnings from data across the organization, preventing new and better value propositions to be defined.
The solution for dealing with these challenges is a balance of carrots and sticks to centrally coordinate IT spending while providing innovation in process and product for the business. We've developed a framework for how to approach and build up a cloud governance structure as it is critical for the overall cloud transition strategy's success.
I'd love to hear from you about your challenges and potential solutions relating to these three cloud themes we're seeing…