“Every company is a tech company” (Insert eye roll here).
I’d bet you have heard this same concept or “manifesto” over the years. People far more intelligent than I (including Christopher Mims from the WSJ and Satya Nadella) have put out some brilliant content over the past year around what this means from their point of view. As I started to read more about their reasoning, it got me to thinking about my customers, partners, and real-life use cases where I have seen this transformational shift begin to happen.
And, what transformational shift is that? The change in the role of IT in the business – from inhibitor to innovator.
Mr. Mims starts his article by stating, “There was a time when the primary function of leaders at most companies was management. The technology required to do the work of a company could be bought or siloed in an “IT department,” treated more as a cost center than a source of competitive advantage.”
Over the last 15 years, I have worked with enterprises to help manage their application landscape – be it testing, delivering, modernizing, mobilizing, managing, or retiring/replacing – and have had the opportunity to see this shift slowly happen first-hand.
Over that period, the mindset of the CIO has shifted – even in just this small corner of the enterprise IT world:
First, it was “just get the apps installed on the users’ desktops.”
Then it was “deliver and install the apps electronically on the users’ desktops.”
Then it was “…and manage the apps securely for the end-users on their desktops.”
Then it was “….manage the applications securely for the end-user while allowing the end-users while providing the flexibility to use the device of their choice.”
Then it was “…allow the users to be productive as the roamed from professional device to personal device.”
And now it is “…allow the users to maximize their productivity while providing a world-class engagement experience” – now the words, desktops, devices, and even apps have disappeared.
Oh! And, by the way, we want this to happen without adding resources.
It’s now all about delivering an outcome. CIOs have shifted from the nuts and bolts mentality to a business partner mentality. “What can we do to make each line of business more successful”?
To answer that question adequately, we have to take a step back and understand how the definition of success is evolving – and the leadership’s expectations around the variance of roles that IT will play in delivering it.
In my next segment, I will explore how the CIOs of 2 fortune 25 companies in very different verticals have come to very similar conclusions around their expectations of IT’s partnership with their business.
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