You can read the article here on CIO.com.
I was delighted to work with EMC again as a featured panelist on their second #HybridCloud Twitter chat entitled, “What are the catalysts for the Hybrid Cloud?”
Following hot on the heels of the first very successful Hybrid Cloud Chat in March, we were delighted to double our reach on this chat to 2.1 million, which is a great achievement.
EMC pre-event info: In our upcoming #HybridCloudChat Twitter chat, an expert panel from EMC of Suhela Dighe, Hans Timmerman and Dinko Eror with industry expert Christian McMahon (@ChristianMcM) will discuss Hybrid Cloud. Join the conversation on May 19 at 12 p.m. GMT on Twitter using the hashtag #HybridCloudChat.
I was delighted to work with EMC recently as a featured panelist on their #HybridCloud Twitter chat entitled, “How ready are you for the Hybrid Cloud?”
It was their first chat of this type in EMEA and it achieved a social reach of 1.1 million, which they were rightly delighted with.
EMC pre-event info: In our upcoming #HybridCloudChat Twitter chat, an expert panel from EMC of Suhela Dighe and Dinko Eror with industry expert Christian McMahon (@ChristianMcM) will discuss Hybrid Cloud. Join the conversation on March 25 at 12 p.m. GMT on Twitter using the hashtag #HybridCloudChat.
I was asked by Atheneum Partners to write a piece for their global newsletter which goes out to over 75k registered users. The question I was posed was for my take on what are the top cloud trends that will shape 2015? The piece can be found on their site by clicking here but I have also copied in the text below:
The usage of cloud-based services continues to penetrate deeper in to the enterprise than ever before. The fear factors of security, data control, privacy and contractual exit strategies continue to be tempered by the virtues of cost savings, availability, speed to market and innovation.
If you are evaluating technology upgrades, replacements or acquisitions, 2015 is the year that cements cloud on the list of considerations.
I have detailed below in no order of importance what I think will be the main cloud focused trends in 2015 but I would love to hear what else you would add to the list?
Thanks to the price and feature wars between the biggest providers including AWS, Microsoft and Google the market is now more available than ever as organisations now look beyond raw infrastructure for value.
Gartner broadly defines hybrid clouds as the combination of two or more cloud services coming together to create a unified cloud experience. It can be a mix of private and public cloud services, but can also include combinations that are all public or all private.
In 2015 a blend of on-premise and cloud services is pretty normal but enterprises should adopt cloud services in a tactical way that ensure they’re getting the right match and secure model to suit the needs of their organisations. Hybrid cloud is the much-discussed direction that many organisations will ultimately follow.
Hybrid cloud management tools will improve and allow IT organisations to seamlessly administer and operate them securely.
Cloud Operating Models
As cloud services converge with social, mobile and information in what Gartner calls the. “Nexus of Forces”, organisations will need to start incorporating cloud operating behaviours in a platform for digital business.
Maturing and well-defined Cloud Market
The cloud marketplace has matured significantly and moved away from the free for all approach of the past couple of years. The global scale cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft’s Azure will continue to operate at the high-end but there will be lots of smaller, more regional, industry focused custom providers to fill in the gaps around them.
There will be a rise of intermediation services that will seek to help organisations manage and integrate their cloud services. Organisations new to the cloud and those delving in to the hybrid approach will welcome such third-party providers and the niche skills they bring but will need to decide how much they cede control.
Enterprise Workloads Moving in to the Cloud
Amazon’s AWS has long been a go to choice for those offering online services but 2015 will see a greater enterprise adoption for not just AWS but Microsoft’s Azure and Google’s Compute Engine amongst others.
Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing and many enterprises will look to embrace all that it can offer.
Containers will gain momentum
Containers have helped solve many of the problems that the cloud poses for IT operations. Developers love containers but IT operations now need to be able to containerise different parts of an application, locate them in different types of cloud infrastructure, and manage them as discrete units whilst keeping the part acting as a whole.
Compliance and Regulations
As cloud platforms continue to mature, cloud is spurring interest from even those industries that have previously been hesitant. Think of those most beset with regulation, compliance and privacy: public sector, life sciences, financial and health care. Lots of cloud providers will take the necessary steps to receive appropriate industry certifications, creating more platforms designed to align to Sarbanes–Oxley and others.
Internet of Things
Interest in the Internet of Things will build throughout 2015. Positioning clouds and applications for it right now is difficult but if your organisation is moving in to this space you need to be prepared for how to capture and store the potentially large amounts of resulting data. Everything from orchestration to database management tools will need to evolve to better support this area.
Traditionally this has been a problem area for IT but DRaaS enables you to address many previous problems such as testing, the high cost of installing a backup system and accurately mimicking potential issues. I think this will be a growth area in 2015.
With CIO’s under constant pressure to deliver innovation and business value whilst continuing to provide BAU services, they are always looking for new ways in which to achieve their goals. Cloud services have often provoked fear in many enterprises due to security, data and privacy issues but with the market rapidly maturing, costs falling, security and services improving could this be the year that cloud thrives?
Throughout 2014, the CIO profession was subjected to a baffling series of apocalyptic forecasts and dire predictions that have proven to be laughably wrong.
Where did all these distortions and misperceptions about the stewards of IT strategy and execution come from?
Well, times of extreme change and disruption in the business world—and 2014 surely qualified in spades for that designation—always breed lots of theories about what caused all that upheaval and where it will lead.
And since the CIO profession and its attendant IT organization have always been among the most misunderstood siblings in the corporate family, it’s not surprising that their decline, downfall, decimation, and demise were so grandly forecast and greatly exaggerated. Here are a few of my favourite crackpot theories:
- The CMO would kill the CIO: The CIO and the CMO, we were told, were locked in a Texas Cage death match from which only one would emerge alive. Because CMOs have begun to embrace marketing automation technology, this theory went, the CMO would inevitably be in mortal opposition to the CIO.
- Mobile technology would kill the CIO:The CIO and the entire IT organisation would become wards of the CFO as superb mobile technology rendered many/most traditional enterprise systems obsolete. According to this yarn, only core financial apps would require the rigour of traditional enterprise systems, so the CIO would be tucked deeply under the CFO and become little more than a mechanic wearing a green eyeshade.
- Cloud computing would kill the CIO:In this daydream, the CIO and the entire IT organisation would join the woolly mammoth for a nice long dip in the tar pit, as the rise of cloud computing would eliminate any need for businesses to retain deep business-technology vision and strategy.
- Big data and its data scientist masters would kill the CIO:The rise of the omniscient data scientist would lead to a Borg-like collective mentality that would know everything about everything, making IT irrelevant.
But a funny thing happened on those roads to CIO extinction, and here in 2015 we find that the best CIOs are not only alive and well and far from endangered, but are indeed creating more business value than ever before by collaborating eagerly and openly with those supposed forces of opposition. World-class CIOs and IT organisations have never—ever—worked in isolation, and in today’s dizzying high-change business environment, the collaborative approach is paying huge dividends.
In 2015 and beyond, as the full impact of digital disruption takes hold across all industries, the winning organisations will be those in which the CIO engages relentlessly with the CMO, the CFO, the chief revenue officer, the CHRO, the heads of product development and manufacturing, the data scientist, the heads of service and support, and every other line of business leader to help conceive and create the digital enterprise.
Because without that type of collaboration, without that infusion of strategic business-technology capability into every facet of the organisation, businesses will simply be unable to keep pace with the rapidly shifting and escalating wants and needs of customers, whether consumers or businesses.
In that context, I’d like to offer my “Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues for 2015.” And I’d like to begin by sharing my Top 10 lists from the two previous years to offer a sense of continuity and perspective that, in combination with the 2015 list, reveal a profession and a corporate asset that are more relevant, more valuable, and more strategic than ever before.
- Simplify IT and Transform You’re Spending: Kick the 80/20 Budget Habit.
- Lead the Social Revolution: Drive the Social-Enabled Enterprise.
- Unleash Your Company’s Intelligence: Create the Enterprise-wide Opportunity Chain.
- Embrace the Engagement Economy: Merge the Back Office and the Front Office into the Customer Office.
- Future-Proof Your IT Architecture.
- Upgrade “Cloud Strategy” to “Business Transformation Enabled by the Cloud.”
- Transform Big Data into Big Insights, Big Vision, and Big Opportunities.
- Preside over a Shotgun Wedding: Systems of Record Marry Systems of Engagement.
- Lead with Speed: CIO as Chief Acceleration Officer.
- Bend the Value Curve: More Innovation, Less Integration.
- Drive Customer-Centric Innovation Throughout Your Organisation.
- Why the Internet of Things Will Turn Your Business Upside Down.
- Shatter the Legacy Model of IT Budgeting and Expectations.
- Dazzle Your Customers—Make Them Love Your Company!
- Who’s on First? It’s a Mobile-First, Cloud-First, and Social-First World.
- Blending Art and Science: Why Product Development and IT Must Collaborate.
- Don’t Fight Tomorrow’s Wars with Yesterday’s Technologies.
- Embrace Your Ultimate Metrics: Customer Loyalty Moves to the Front.
- Tie IT Compensation to Knowledge-Worker Productivity.
- Design and Deliver the Transparent Enterprise.
Clearly, all of those initiatives from 2013 and 2014 need to continue into 2015 and beyond, but for this year’s top CIO imperatives, I’ve broken the list into four categories that reflect the multifaceted capabilities the modern and business-driven CIO must have, and the wide-ranging responsibilities such executives deserve to have.
As you’ll see below, those four subsets are Business Transformer, Customer Expert/Advocate, Business-Technology Visionary, and Culture Warrior.
Here’s the 2015 Top 10 list, followed by an overview of each item.
The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues for 2015
The Business Transformer
1) Be the joyful digital disruptor, not the hesitant and befuddled digital disruptee.
2) Accelerate insights, decision-making, and operations: function as the Chief Acceleration Officer. Yes, this is the same as #9 on the 2013 list, but it not only bears repeating, but deserves a promotion up the list.
3) Forge strategic and deep relationships with the CMO, CHRO, CFO, and beyond.
The Customer Expert and Advocate
4) Harness the enterprise-wide power and potential of customer-centric big data and analytics.
5) Unlock insights and capabilities that let every employee contribute to customer loyalty.
The Technology Visionary
6) Modernise and simplify: Exploit cloud computing to help achieve each item on this list.
7) Re-imagine your security strategy as globalisation and mobility redefine privacy and risk.
The Culture Warrior
8) Be the strategic evangelist for turning social from tactical sidelight to strategic growth engine.
9) Embrace new HCM outlooks and tools to make your department—and your entire company—a high-demand destination for world-class talent.
10) Transform the IT organisation and reputation from no to yes, from SLAs to revenue growth, from obstacle to accelerator, from passive to opportunistic.
To carry on reading this piece, please visit the original article here.
Full credit for the article to Bob Evans, SVP and Chief Communications Officer for Oracle
Symantec event info: In our upcoming #DirtyTopics chat, an expert panel from Symantec and industry expert Christian McMahon (@ChristianMcM) will discuss managing IT relationships within the C-Suite and measuring IT ROI. Join the conversation on January 29 at 11 a.m. PST on Twitter using the hashtag #DirtyTopics.
I was very proud and honoured yesterday to be recognised as one of the Top 100 Most Social CIOs on Twitter by Vala Afshar at the Huffington Post.
This is a prestigious list and when I tweeted Vala to thank him for recognising me, he said my inclusion was due to my brilliant commitment to social collaboration.
You can see the full list on the Huffington Post site by clicking here.
I am very proud to have been appointed an Advisory Board Member for CIO Today Magazine and am looking forward to working with Michael and the rest of the advisory board – link to the site here.
The CIO Today UK Magazine Advisory Board is a group of volunteers whose duties are to informally advise the Editor-in-Chief (who is chair of the Advisory Board) on the editorial direction and pacing of the magazine, promote the magazine, develop themes and suggest content for each publication.
The duties of the advisory board include: Providing ideas for potential articles in the publication, acting as background sources for information, discussing industry issues, contributing articles for publication, attending virtual editorial advisory board meetings (via a private forum), acting as sources for direct quotes or indirect quotes in articles, promoting publication to readers, choosing winners of awards contests, answering questions from readers, discussing readership studies, nominating candidates for awards, discussing marketing of publication, giving interviews to promote publication, and speaking at conferences/seminars.
2014 was another challenging year for the CIO with plenty of column inches given over to debating the control and usage of technology across the enterprise with much speculation about the validity of the role itself.
Personally, I think talk of the demise of the CIO role is presumptuous though what is critical right now is that the CIO role needs to evolve with 2015 being the time to flourish and show their true worth in helping set the strategic direction of their organisation.
The CIO role is like no other in that it allows visibility across the organisation that others rarely get to achieve and those that are commercially astute with a capacity to add tangible value to the business will excel – those who are not will likely be sitting in a different chair at the start of 2016.
As a result of the recent economic turmoil and rapidity of change across the commercial landscape, many organisations are now looking for a different type of CIO or technology leader than they have in the past. They are diluting the need for a more technically focused individual to one who is able to unravel the complexity of IT, increase the accessibility to technology, and be open to new ideas with the ability to work with peers on getting the right things done.
One of the key factors in this evolutionary change in the CIO role is the need to understand and appreciate they no longer have ultimate say over what technologies are used within their organisation but they will still be held accountable for making sure it all works.
Gartner research has shown that 38% of IT spend is already outside of IT and that they expect this to reach 50% by 2017.
This is going to send a shiver down the spine of many a CIO but they must understand the diversification of technology usage and need across their organisation.
This is quite the culture shift for many who have migrated in to the CIO role from the traditional ‘lights on’ IT director role of old but this will make absolute sense for those who have the ability to evolve in to this new model which will free them up to get more involved in defining and executing the ‘big picture’ strategy.
Too long the CIO has been identified as the strategic and commercial weak link in the c-suite and not adding tangible value across the business – they must seize this opportunity to transform their role and reputation in to one that thinks collectively, understanding how best to resolve the issues that matter across the business and ultimately delivering commercial value.
The main theme and focus for many of us this year is that of how to transform in to and drive a digital business.
Naturally this is a hot topic for CIO’s and the challenge of how to implement and transform your business to a digital operating model is now top billing on the agendas of many boardrooms across the globe.
This is exactly where the CIO can step up and work with peers and key stakeholders across the business to define a strategy which is moulded around a ‘customer first’ approach where digital technologies will form the cornerstones of how your services are delivered and consumed going forward.
This will require much managing of change, process, and incumbent technology and possibly need a marked change in strategic direction – a role tailor-made for the commercially astute CIO in harness with the CMO.
The impact of digital business on industries and individual organisations cannot be underestimated and Gartner have predicted that by 2017 one in five industry leaders will have ceded their market dominance to a company founded after 2000.
This is a bold claim but one which I support as no longer can you rely on historical dominance of your sector – either embrace disruption now or start planning your burial in the corporate graveyard alongside luminaries such as Kodak and Blockbusters.
CIO’s must embrace a “Bi-Modal IT” mind-set where they simultaneously embark on the digital transformation journey whilst maintaining Business as Usual (BAU) services.
It’s no secret that the most successful CIO’s are those who are able to run the business and transform it at the same time. Many industry observers and consultants will tell you that they have witnessed more transformation in the last 3 years than in the previous 20 years combined, so this shows how important these skills are in the modern CIO.
I don’t see any lessening in this pace as the demand for new and simpler ways to consume data, information, products and solutions is only going to increase year on year as the technology and accessibility to it improves.
CIO’s will also need to start concentrating on what talent they need to bring in to their organisations this year to manage this “Bi-Modal IT” approach as the market for the best talent is already stretched and growing ever more taut.
CIO’s should help their business colleagues and the CEO think outside the box to imagine new scenarios for digital business that cross companies and industries, providing a great opportunity for CIO’s to amplify their role in the organisation.
Gone are the days where you can supply rigid corporate systems, which are only accessible on site – the corporate world has evolved and everyone wants to consume technology in different ways with previously inaccessible data being lusted after to analyse for new operational and commercial insights.
CIO’s need to help create the right mind-set and a shared understanding among key decision makers in the enterprise – to help them “get” the possibilities of digital business.
They must take a leadership role in helping their organisations change their mind-set to what’s possible – and what’s inevitable in a digital business future.
This should not be done in isolation or be detrimental to any key relationships such as that with the CMO as it’s imperative you work together and deliver the ‘right’ digital strategy for your organisation.
Get yourself in the digital driving seat and don’t become a passenger.
It’s going to be a busy year with a fair amount of turbulence, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.
This piece will be included in the British Computer Society annual IT strategy e-book which is this year focusing on Digital Leadership.
I was asked by Samsung to give my insights on the evolving role of the CIO in the age of digital disruption.
These insights have been included in a marketing piece which Samsung has released in relation to the key take aways for CIO’s coming out of this years Gartner Symposium in Barcelona.
Click here to read my insights.