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Transformer

Issue 12 2017

Striving for ITopia

In an ideal world where technology was truly understood and accepted across organisations, the role of the CIO would be much coveted and much easier. However, the reality is that we’re not working and living in that idyllic state of ITopia just yet.

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According to Klaus Schwab, founder and chair of the World Economic Forum, we’ve moved from the first industrial revolution, which used water and steam power to mechanise production, to the fourth industrial, or digital, revolution we currently find ourselves in. While technology has played a significant factor in each iterative industrial revolution, information technology is still not fully accepted as a key part of the business at every organisation, despite the vital enabling role it plays.

As we enter the era of digital transformation, this seems the natural time for IT to step out from the shadows and align to the business, becoming more than a service provider and driving innovation. For that to happen, the CIO must not just understand the intricacies of how their business operates, but also be able to map the latest technology trends to them and ensure it meets the overall strategic ambitions too.

Disruptive digital businesses are built with technology integrated into their fabric. The challenge is for more established businesses to drag themselves to a similar state. The job is made easier if the CEO takes the time to understand IT’s value and the CFO has the inclination to realise how it can be used to generate profits or drive new products or business models. By understanding and enabling the role that the CIO and IT perform, both the CEO and CFO will no longer view IT as a grudge purchase or cost centre, but rather as an investment into the future of the company.

In this edition of Transformer, we look at why IT continues to struggle with aligning itself to the business. We investigate how improved relationships between the CIO and CFO is beneficial and how the CIO moves from being perceived as a functional workhorse to becoming known as a strategic transformer. From a technology perspective, we look at the reasons why some CIOs are embracing shadow IT – how are CIOs aligning this with the needs of the business? We also look at who is driving cloud adoption within the business? And how to structure the IT team to meet the business needs in a world where services are outsourced to the cloud?

In this edition, we also tackle the various issues that percolate around working with the business or fighting it in the move to ITopia, I hope you find this edition thought-provoking and useful.

Enjoy the read.



Ulrike Weitz
Editor
uweitz@microsoft.com


Ulrike Weitz
Editor

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