Corporate IT just got interesting again – 6 IT mega-trends that are changing business

Here we are with the World coming out of Recession carrying a massive burden of debt, but with a pressing need – and the opportunity – to grow our economy and to grow our businesses. This makes a nice change!

So, if the challenge over the last two years was to save and save again to survive, now the challenge we face is to keep making savings – but also to grow, find new markets, win new customers and turn losses into profits.

There are several “technology mega-trends” here that are turning the business world upside down.  What is going to happen is that the functionality and the capability that we are all getting to know and love in our personal lives is going to move into how we all work.

So just think about what we like about the iPhone:

  • Ease of use – it’s intuitive, you don’t need training
  • Ability to download the apps you want, when you want
  • Speed of delivery of service – no-one likes waiting
  • Presence – the device, and therefore the apps, know where you are
  • Mobility – you want to be connected whenever and wherever you want, and
  • Affordability – the cost of end-user devices and the cost of apps is accessible: you don’t need a business case to add apps once you have invested in the basic infrastructure.

If you had to characterise the nature of business systems that most companies and most of their employees have to use, though, you would say they are:

  • hard to use – you do need training
  • you need experts to source and load the software for your applications
  • it can takes years to build a new system
  • it doesn’t know where you are
  • you normally have to find a terminal or desktop or kiosk to use IT, and
  • you need to make a business case for a new piece of software because it is expensive and is licensed.

These six technology mega-trends will revolutionise the way we do business:

  1. Touch and video technology mean that the old screen and keyboard is very old hat
  2. New Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) enables users to access systems and data from across their business and partners, whether in legacy or modern technologies
  3. Agile methods of development bring business and IT together in iterative development of the functionality that is needed, with releases every fortnight not every 2 years
  4. Phones, parts, cards and tags will automatically show their Presence and identify, users, customers and their assets and attributes IF they want
  5. Mobile devices will connect everyone with their work-place, the colleagues and friends and the infinite information accessible on the intranet, wherever they are – even in mid-flight
  6. The advent of Cloud Computing means that normal businesses can access the economics that have previously only been available to the likes of Google and Amazon.

These mega-trends offer a future that is totally connected, totally flexible and totally easy to use – and much cheaper.

This is the big challenge for the CIO of the Future:  how do we give our users what they want and are used to at home at an affordable price?

See my last post about SOA for a part of the answer…..

About paulcoby
I am CIO at the John Lewis Partnership in the UK. I was Chair of SITA - the airline solutions company owned by the Air Transport Community - for 11 years. I am also on the Boards of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and Pets at Home. Previously I was Head of BA Services and for 10 years CIO at British Airways. I am interested in Roman and Military History. The views expressed are entirely my own not my employers.

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