Report on Forrester CIO Summit Australia 2012

This month it was an honour to be asked to present at the first Forester CIO Summit to be held in Australia. I was also privileged to spend the day listening to some great presenters with insightful stories and information. I could write a lot more than this post on every one of the presentations, but these are just some of my key takeaways. All the presenters were excellent but these are the ones that had messages that resonated with me.

Dane Anderson from Forrester introduced the theme for the summit – “From IT to Business Technology (BT) and Beyond”. He reflected on the pace of change and the fact that not long ago in January 2007 there was no iPhone, iPad, no Android, no Twitter and Facebook was only 1 year old. Today, there are 1 billion touchscreen smartphones globally, half a million apps in the App Store, and 120 million tablets in the workplace.

John Brand from Forrester talked about “The Role of the CIO in the Empowered BT Era”. He referred to current practices as the “When Harry Met Sally Strategy” i.e. I will have what she is having. No longer can organisations copy what another is doing, it needs to be innovative and that innovation will come from unlikely places. Google, which is essentially an internet advertising company can potentially transform the entire automotive industry with its driverless cars. The CIO role will transform from the focus on being the Chief Maintenance Officer to the Chief Innovation Officer.

Source: July 18, 2011, “The Empowered BT CIO” Forrester report.

The three things that will change technology governance and the role of the CIO:

  • Invitation-based access will eventually outmode hierarchical security models
  • Location and context will become core enterprise information assets
  • The “illusion of cognitive computing” is driven by deep, near-real-time analytics

The CIO will need more engagement with a wider range of stakeholders beyond IT including partners and suppliers, industry bodies, alumni, core customers, media and analysts, regulators, academia and the executive committee. The CIO will need to focus on governance, sourcing and innovation and become an influential business partner and business service orchestrator.

Grahame Coles, CIO at Victorian Department of Human Services gave an excellent presentation on the restructure of resources that was needed to meet reduced budgets. iTnews interviewed Grahame regarding his presentation and that report can be read here. Grahame explained how the restructure was driven using the ITIL framework and service lifecycle.

Saul van Beurden from ING Retail Banking talked about “The New Oil” and how organisations have to understand that information is the new oil if they are to maintain relevancy. ING believes that the customer will ask 3 things:

  • Remember things for me (remember who I am, where I am etc.)
  • Make my life easier
  • Don’t bother me with averages

Saul described how Nike is now in the information business and not just the sporting business. Nike+ now has over 5 million users. Amazon is now in the information business and not just the business of selling books. They keep information about what you have bought and what others are buying that you might like. KLM is now in the information business and not just the airline business. The KLM “meet and seat” service allows you to see who else is on your flight, what are their interests, where they are going etc. and choose your seat accordingly before you fly.

All these businesses understand the importance of information.

Khalid Kark of Forrester talked about “How Consumerization Drives Innovation”. Khalid said ‘if you are not disrupting….get ready to be disrupted” and described how Amazon disrupted Borders, and Netfllix disrupted Blockbuster. He said that the three realities of business innovation were:

  • Customer obsessed
  • Technology driven
  • Unprecedented velocity

The top business concern for Asia Pacific organisations is increasing expectations from customers (67%) and organisations need to respond to the changing realities. P&G customer testing of product placement used to take 7 weeks. IT worked with the business and created a virtual wall, which reduced testing time to 3 days.

Research showed that 88% of research for construction products is done online and 56% of customers buy construction products online. As a result Caterpillar responded and the business and IT is now aligned to the customer lifecycle.

Jason Cowie, CIO at Calibre Global described his proven model for moving IT from the traditional department into an enablement and value-adding provider that transforms the business.

Gordon Makryllos from Orange Business Services talked about “Digital Futures – How Prepared Are You?” Gordon referred to the IBISWorld report that said of the 509 industries in Australia, 15 – nearly all in traditional media, publishing and broadcasting – are likely to disappear unless they can reinvent themselves.

Tim Sheedy was the final presenter of the day and his presentation was entitled “Understanding the Outlook for CIOs in Australia”. Tim referenced the Forrester Forrsights Budgets and Priorities Tracker Survey Q2 2012. The research contained many fascinating insights but a few that interested me are the following. It was clear that innovation was top of the IT management agenda and new IT project spend is flat out at around 30% of IT budgets. There is a wholesale move to mobiles as an employee’s key business tool. There is more BYOT (technology) around than we may have imagined but there is not much BYOPC. Tim said that ultimately we are all heading in the same direction but it will be how we get there that will differentiate us from our peers and competitors. The CIOs main job will be to create the roadmap of how you get from where you are today to where you want to be in one, five or ten years time. Strategic planning will lie at the heart of business technology alignment. In BT, “IT strategy” is no longer a separate exercise – it is an integral part of business strategy.

This summit was a great inaugural one for Forrester in Australia and I look forward to being invited back in 2013 to hear even more captivating and stimulating content.

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