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A View from the Front Lines

Posted By Mark Potts, CTO of HP Software, Wednesday, August 29, 2012
What do you think the IT Department of 2020 will look like?

IT wasn’t always centralized, but it trended that way for budget control purposes. For some time now, central IT has been the norm, and the CIO has been its leader. The cloud brings with it an entirely different business model. Lines of business will begin to source externally; security, risk and compliance will become even more crucial responsibilities for groups of information technologists; and IT will become increasingly linked to sourcing strategies, security and compliance and overall IT financial management.

What do these changes mean for the CIO of 2020?

The CIO of 2020 must adapt to these changes in three critical ways:

1) The CIO of 2020 will need to become well versed in budget and capacity management as well as contract and vendor management. Strong sourcing and service portfolio management skills for brokered hybrid delivery will be essential to success.

2) CIOs will have to understand the growing significance of risk management. Risk assessment, information security, liability management, compliance, availability and performance judgment all will become central to the role of the CIO.

3) Because large enterprises will work in a hybrid model—managing service delivery across in-house employees, managed contractors, service providers—the CIO will have to understand how to integrate these capabilities into a seamless delivery model.

Considering these changes, how do you think CIO performance will be measured in 2020?

CIOs will continue to have many of the same responsibilities as they do now, but the metrics may change. Performance measurement used to be about the outcomes of service-level agreements (SLAs) and availability of services they deliver themselves, but as IT changes, emphasis will shift to SLAs on hybrid composite applications/services. Network and connectivity, user experience on new devices and how effectively the CIO can negotiate affordable services will likely all become factors in assessing performance.

In terms of spending, the CIO used to be responsible for managing capital expenditure on servers, storage and the network, software licenses etc. Going forward, however, the CIO will be spending less capital and managing more operational budget. Finally, as mobility, consumerization of IT and social media continue to penetrate the enterprise, the CIO of 2020 must accept and leverage these disruptions to the advantage of the enterprise and delivery of IT services..

What do think will become the most essential skill a 2020 CIO will need to have?

When we talk about IT, we often talk about IT as an organizational structure—central IT—but rigid organizational construct and the governance that goes with it. IT will become more distributed across lines of business, driven by the need for greater agility, and as such IT delivery across the organization will become brokered and hybrid in nature. However the responsibilities for managing brokered, hybrid delivery and the associated quality, risk and cost management won’t be abdicated, and the CIO is likely to have to manage this across the enterprise.

For more on the future of the CIO, read Chapter 1 of HP’s social e-book, Enterprise 20/20, available online here.

Tags:  Enterprise 20/20 

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