The landscape of corporate IT is constantly evolving, and change may be the only constant. I recently read InformationWeek’s Global CIO 2012 Survey, which collected information from more than 200 CIOs. The thirty-page document is an interesting read and may provide some insight into the way that you and your IT personnel are currently doing business.
Here are a few of my takeaways:
BYOD Marches Forward
On the plus side, I was surprised to see that a significant percentage of the CIOs surveyed really seemed to embrace some form of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) within their environments. While it’s a trend that would be difficult to stop, the loss of control and the potential for damage (in the form of unauthorized access to information, spreading viruses, malware, etc.) has led many companies to take an all-or-nothing approach (with emphasis on “nothing”), so the level of acknowledgement on the part of the responding CIOs that BYOD was something that had to be dealt with came as a bit of a surprise. Over 60% of the responding CIOs now see potential in BYOD tools such as the iPad. In fact, CIOs see further advancement of the bring-your-own concept. Some CIOs are looking at the future of a Bring Your Own Cloud model, where their users were taking advantage of free or inexpensive cloud storage technologies.
CIOs Are Prioritizing Mobile Tech and Collaboration
There was also an excellent level of involvement in projects that prioritized collaboration and mobile issues. It appears that many of the CIOs realized that even compared to the rapid pace of change commonly found in IT, mobile was an even more rapidly changing landscape. Adopting technologies that could change with the capabilities of the mobile infrastructure was an important focus point for IT efforts. Over 60% of the CIOs surveyed responded that they had major efforts under way in the short term to get applications onto mobile devices.
Opportunity for IT to Support Customers Still Untapped
On the downside, it seems that the IT inertia to the actual business of doing business (as opposed to the business of IT) continues. Less than a quarter of the surveyed CIOs had any sort of priority focus on the customers of the business that they support. While many IT departments don’t directly interact with end-user customers (though the number that don’t decreases all the time), the actions of IT, even on internally focused projects, often directly impact customers. While many IT departments still see their actions on a discrete project basis, considering the impact of their projects on the business customer can’t be just the role of the departments that IT works for. IT should have the best grasp of how technologies can be implemented. With an unfiltered view of the desired business results — rather than just the opinion of various business units — IT can have a major role in assuring the long-term success of everyone's projects.
CIOs Ignoring Social Media
But one aspect of the survey that really stood out as a major failure was what seems to be a complete disregard for the impact of social networks on business. More than 60% of the CIOs attached no significant importance for tracking their reputation in the social networking world. Given how rapidly that negative commentary can spread through social media, it would seem to be a poor idea to find out about negative social media views well after the fact. It’s fine to say that monitoring and managing the company's social media reputation isn’t IT’s job, but even if other business units are tasked with this role, IT needs to make sure that they have the tools and technical capabilities to track, follow, and, if need be, repair damage to the corporate reputation in social media.