Category Archives: Transformation

What did we learn from BT’s 2016 CIO Report?

Office worker sitting on rooftop in cityBT has recently released its 2016’s CIO report, dissecting the challenges and opportunities available for enterprise organizations, and the CIO, following the mainstream adoption of disruptive digital technologies.

The 2015 edition of the report highlighted CIO’s role was shifting away from that of a technologist and operations guru, and more towards a strategic, creative and consultative one. As organizations are still identifying what digital means for their own business, the CIO is becoming ever more central in the boardroom as each enterprise continues on the path to understand how technology adoption and integration could ultimately define its success or failure.

Here, we’ve detailed a few of the lessons learnt from the 2016 report:

Security is now being dealt with

Cloud and/or cyber security has been a topic of interest throughout the industry, though there has been a difficulty in addressing the challenge as few have identified a means to do so. It would appear that as there hasn’t been a concise or even complicated answer to the security conundrum, conversations have been swept under the carpet.

Through conversations BCN has had at recent events we understand security is still a major challenge, though discussions around how to become more secure are less taboo. In general, it would seemingly appear CIO’s have accepted the idea 100% secure is never possible, but this is okay. You have to continuously evolve your security strategy to adapt to a dynamic threat environment.

The report highlights 33% of respondents believe the transition through to cloud computing will act as a catalyst to improve security throughout the organization. It would appear the implementation of cloud is forcing enterprise to deal with security – it is no longer a subject which can be put off for another day.

Changes to CIO roleCloud is no longer a choice

65% of respondents stated their current infrastructures are struggling to deal with the rapid adoption of digital technologies. There are still challenges to the adoption of a cloud model (security, legacy systems, time constraints and budget), though the CIO’s in questions realize cloud is no longer an option to become more successful, but a necessity to remain relevant.

The CIO role has changed and there’s no going back

Traditionally the role of the IT department has been to ‘keep the lights switch on’ and to ensure the business does not close down. It’s operational, it’s in the backroom and it’s all about keeping things running. Not anymore.

The operational role of IT will never disappear, but the decision making capability and the influence on the businesses strategy has been increased. In fact, 72% of the respondents believe the CIO’s standing in the boardroom has improved increased, 73% believe the boards expectations of the CIO has increased and 70% believe the board are now looking for a creative CIO, not just someone to keep everything ticking along.

A successful CIO will be able to bridge the gap between IT and the rest of the business, becoming more of a businessman as opposed to a technologist. The disruptive nature of digital technologies ensure CIO’s now have to be driven by flexibility, adaptive to new ideas, understanding of agile models and more receptive to alternative trends. This could be seen as quite a shift in what would be the current perception of a CIO.

BT Quote

UK businesses at threat of losing IT talent

Weg - Zukunft - Entscheidung - Neuanfang - KonzeptEMC has released a new study highlighting UK businesses are at risk of losing IT talent due to underappreciation of technology in the business on the whole.

The Great Skills Exodus report claims decision makers are failing to prioritise IT as a business enabler, while 88% of IT workers believe the growth and success of their organisation is fundamentally reliant on technology. Frustrations from the IT department can be linked to a lack of transformation in the company they work for as 26% has witnessed an unwillingness to change the way ‘things have always been done’ from the management team.

“IT has got to become a key aspect of the business strategy, not merely a function of the overall business,” said Ross Fraser, UK&I Country Manager at EMC. “Technology is potentially the definitive aspect of any business but it can be seen as a supportive function by a substantial amount of organizations at the moment. Decision makers now have to rethink what they are doing as the process of IT and move with the times.”

While there has been encouraging progress in the adoption of cloud technologies in recent months, it would appear board level decision makers are not realizing the full potential of the technology itself. Cloud as a technology could be perceived as now penetrating the mass market, though the digitally enabled business model, required to activate cloud for its greatest potential, could be seen as lagging.

“If you want to modernize, automate and transform your infrastructure, whether than means on premise or off premise, you have to embrace the idea of new IT,” said Fraser. “There are a few companies where their future probably depends on how well they embrace future IT and I think that there is also a lack of understanding that if they don’t embrace it they will come under huge amounts of pressure and competitive threats because they are not competitive enough as a business.”

Among the concerns put forward by respondents in the survey, 20% feel held back by their organisation’s restrictions on implementing new technologies, 30% feel they have few opportunities to demonstrate their ability, and less than 20% believe their organization has a significant focus on IT as a means of driving innovation.

“The worst case scenario could be that they won’t exist, think about Kodak or Blockbuster,” said Fraser. “Now this is on an extreme level but it does demonstrate how disruptive the digital business model is. It could mean death by a thousand cuts, but if you don’t get the technology question right it could mean major problems in the long run. Every business has the digital challenge, but if they get it right from a technology perspective it creates a workforce which sees where they are working is an important aspect of the business, they start to see career progression and new opportunities.”

EMC believe a stronger and more consistent message throughout the organization on technology, would not only provide the organization with a more competitive position in the market, but also highlight the importance of IT as a function to the on-going success, ensuring employee retention would be increased.

“Technology is at the heart of business transformation and the IT team is ideally placed to help any organisation navigate new opportunities and threats in the market,” said Fraser. “With employment of IT professionals forecast to grow at 1.62 percent per year by 2020, businesses must ensure that they offer the most compelling career opportunities in order to retain the best staff, or risk losing as many as three quarters of their IT team in the coming months – something which would have a hugely detrimental impact on any organisation.”