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A Tale of Two Travelers…

Posted By Mike Shaw, Director of Solution Marketing, HP Software, Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In "the old days”, people would talk about the future as they travelled on foot or by horse from town to town. In those days, there was plenty of time to bounce ideas back and forth.

Imagine the conversation that two such travelers of today might have about IT in 2020.

Traveler A: "What will the CIO of 2020 actually do? Cloud will provide all the non-core applications like expenses, and it will provide the platform to develop and run new applications. The business will have its own computing people to create ‘smart devices’ and back-end cloud services that these smart devices will talk to. So what is left for the CIO of 2020?”

Traveler B: "What a load of rubbish. You can’t just close down apps and move them to the cloud. And anyway, proper enterprises won’t move their key infrastructure to the cloud – it’s too much of a risk. I think cloud will take some load from IT. But this will allow IT to become a much closer partner to the business.”

Traveler A: "What about ‘the internet of things’ where everything is smart – like a ‘smart refrigerator’? These smart things will ‘call home’ to back-end cloud services that do analysis on the data they send. The smart things and the back-end cloud services will be created and run by the business. They won’t involve central IT in this at all.”

Traveler B: "I don’t buy that. We’ve seen this before - shadow IT didn’t work. After all, that’s why we moved to central IT. What about the data analysis? Who is going to set that up? Who is going to link the mass of unstructured data to the structured data the enterprise owns?”

Traveler A: "I think we can agree on the need for unstructured/structured analysis. But will central IT deliver? Right now, the business is starved of good data analysis.”

Traveler B: "Going back to ‘smart things’. What about privacy when all these devices are pouring masses of data back to the enterprise? Would you really want your refrigerator supplier knowing what you ate and giving this information to your supermarket? Or your energy supplier selling information about what devices you use in your home?”

What do you think the IT department of 2020 will do? Will it still spend 70% of its resources keeping the lights on? Will it get closer to the business, or will most business units have their own computing experts? What will data analysis look like when much of the value exists in unstructured data like videos? How will we manage privacy when "smart things” are collecting huge amounts of data about us and how we live our lives?

HP would like you to join in a "crowd sourced” effort to describe the world of 2020 – what does the technology look like, what does the CIO of 2020 do, how are applications and business processes created, what does IT operations look like (if such a thing exists in 2020)?

To read HP’s initial thoughts on the world of 2020 and the CIO of 2020, and much more importantly, help shape these views regarding 2020, please read Chapter 1 of HP’s social e-book, Enterprise 20/20, available online here. Register and, like the travelers of old, express your opinion.

Tags:  Enterprise 20/20 

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