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From social media to intelligent devices to cloud computing, evaluating how these technologies fit into an organization and their impact on the bottom line will become a critical function of the C-level executive, according to Gartner, Inc. In future, the impact of IT on revenue will be directly related to the financial compensation of CIOs.
Speaking in the keynote presentation at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Sydney, Australia, Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research, said that particularly in the high-growth markets of Asia Pacific, successful organizations are those that can quickly evolve their strategies from recessionary cost control to innovative implementations of technology that generate revenue.
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is celebrating its 20th anniversary around the world in 2010, and Mr. Sondergaard looked at how during that time IT has transformed business, launched new industries, and helped drive the global economy.
“At the heart of the change in the next 20 years will be intelligence drawn from information,” Mr. Sondergaard said. “Information will be the ‘oil of the 21st century’. It will be the resource running our economy in ways not possible in the past.”
Gartner has identified four broad trends that will change IT, and the economy, in the next 10 years:
Cloud computing is a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service” to external customers using Internet technologies. It constitutes the basis of a discontinuity that amounts to a new opportunity to shape the relationship between those who use IT services and those who sell them.
“Cloud computing will transform the IT industry as it will alter the financial model upon which investors look at technology providers, and it will change vertical industries, making the impact of the Internet on the music industry look like a minor bleep,” said Mr. Sondergaard. “For the CIO, it will require a shift from multisourcing to microsourcing, which is quite a different skill.”
The second major trend is the business impact of social computing. Not simply more platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, the real impact will come as the underlying ethos, culture and attitudes which shape social computing and have driven growth to date, pervade the enterprise and blur the boundaries between personal and professional activities.
“The rigid business processes which dominate enterprise organizational architectures today are well suited for routine, predictable business activities. But they are poorly suited to support people who’s jobs require discovery, interpretation, negotiation and complex decision-making,” Mr. Sondergaard said. “Social computing, not Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, but the technologies and principals behind them will be implemented across and between all organizations, it will unleash yet to be realized productivity growth, it will contribute to economic growth.”
The third major trend impacting IT leaders is Context Aware Computing. The proliferation and availability of wireless technologies – coupled with an explosion of super intelligent devices – notebooks, tablets and smartphones – in the hands of consumers – linked to cost effective compute and communication capabilities in all physical products – has created a new Internet fabric.
“This enables the creation of software and services that will blend data, text, graphics, audio and video with context such location, language, desires, feelings. Services not imagined today will use people’s location – whether physical or virtual - as the foundation and then use data that determine your patterns of behavior, your desires,” Mr. Sondergaard said. “Context Aware Computing while linear in its impact on IT will have profound impact on organizations, on the way we do business.”
The last trend is Pattern-Based Strategy. A Pattern-Based Strategy provides a framework to proactively seek patterns from traditional and non-traditional sources, model their impact, and adapt according to the needs of the pattern.
This builds on pattern-based technologies such as social network analysis, context aware technologies and predictive analytic tools. It will allow IT leaders to seek-out patterns amidst the burgeoning information sources and model future possibilities.
“The combination of these four trends creates an unimaginable force impacting not just IT and the IT industry, but the capability of business and government,” Mr. Sondergaard said. “Each of these four trends is about driving IT business value. Whether IT acts now or not, the combination of these trends will drive dramatic change in your enterprises’ business model and strategy.”
A video replay of Mr. Sondergaard’s keynote will be available via the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Webinar Series. The webinar series will provide full video replays of the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo keynotes, as well as selected Gartner analyst presentation. More information is available at http://mediazone.brighttalk.com/event/Gartner/27d8d40b22-4312-intro.