IT: are we still in control?

Delivering information anywhere and at any time poses tremendous pressure on those providers that want to be part of the game. Huge datacenters, with global and continuous service offerings  become the bottlenecks of the future. And there is more. According to IDC by 2015, 55% of the business smartphones will be employee-owned devices. Organizations in all industries has now to deal with the upcoming trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Help desks will be swamped by calls from employees to help them out with their devices. IT service delivery was never an easy job, but it will certainly not be one in the near future. Besides the support, there is the ever growing challenge of compliancy. Privacy legislation enforces organizations to invest in security measurements. CIOs feel the pressure to manage growth, customer experience and cost-cutting at the same time.

Our digital wellbeing induces changes that asks for a different approach in dealing with the complexity that comes along. How will we stay in control of the overwhelming information and communication technology that supports these infrastructures and new ways of working and interacting? A better question is probably: are we still in control? Maybe we have the illusion of being in control of IT in our organizations and in society.

For society the challenges are in the reduction of the complexity of the current variety of networks. Different networks, wired and non-wired are largely offering redundant information at huge costs for energy and maintenance. The impact on society is severe and produces an ecological footprint that is unbalanced between the north and south side of our globe.

In organizations the CIO function is under fire. Do we still need CIO’s? I think the answer is yes, more than ever! But CIOs have to transform their jobs into compound profiles of business architects combined with executive qualifications. The annual Gartner survey shows that analytics and business intelligence will be the top priorities for CIOs in 2012. If we go further down in the list, other priorities that pop up are: cloud computing, workflow, CRM, ERP, and security. The message is clear: IT needs to get much closer to business. That’s the place where the fire is burning.

Although IT is immersive in our private and professional lives, technology is still an enabler, albeit of a complex kind. The challenge is not in controlling the ever growing complexity of technology, but in controlling the adequate purpose and facilitation of IT in our daily lives.

jan devos


About jangdevos
I'm an IT/IS professor, a late Baby Boomer, married with Ann and father of Hélène and Willem, a Stones fan and interested in almost everything. I work at the UGent (campus Kortrijk), Belgium. My research domain are: IT Governance in SMEs, IT/IS Security, IT Management, IT Project Management, IT Trends and IT/IS failures.

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