The Impact of Technology Mega-Trends on Corporate IT and Business Models
Roundtable on Digital Strategies • Tuck Campus • Hanover, NH • USA October 18, 2011
Change has always been a key feature IT. But today, something seems different—both within the technology industry and the corporate user community. One could argue that there is a sea-change underway, possibly even the culmination of the information revolution. While the ultimate landing place is not necessarily clear, the directional trends seem to be pretty clear: ubiquity of information, democratization of participation, constantly shifting partnerships and competition, increased external ties and dependencies, etc. The latest waves of cloud computing, social media/technologies, mobility and the consumerization of corporate information technologies are but the latest, and perhaps most concrete, manifestations of these trends. These trends are not only leading to radical shifts in the structure of the technology industry, but also to significant changes in corporate information technology and therefore, ultimately, to both the relationships between the two and to technology business models. In this roundtable we discussed the changes in the technology industry and corporate IT, what their relationship will be like in the future, and sought to make some sense of where we are headed. We addressed questions such as:
- How should we prepare ourselves to be well positioned for the next decade? What do we need for the next 5-10 years?
- Is there an obvious way to maximize the rewards of these changes while minimizing the risks?
- How is the relationship between the technology industry and corporate IT changing? Given the changes in technology, will/can this ultimately become much more of a partnership and much less of a vendor relationship?
- What will be the outcome of the tension that many feel between the need for openness and engagement and the need to protect vital information? What is the impact not only for how companies choose to operate and deploy technology, but also for tech partner/vendor relations?
- Where does the trend from centralized corporate information technology to decentralized usage with cross-functional efficiencies and now to universal usage with myriad external ties lead us?
- What are the implications for the software and applications part of the technology industry? Software was once built for a particular need of a particular company at a particular time and took a long time (one-to-one). Then we migrated to enterprise software where one development path was followed but sold to many and the time between iterations was less (one-to-many), and now we are in a time of software solutions that are largely versionless and many-to-many (or any-to-any). Does this bring us closer to an IT – provider partnership or further away?
- What do the directions above mean for the role of the corporate information technology group and the CIO? Clearly IT is more of an aggregator of services than twenty or even ten years ago, but what will the real focus be moving forward and what does it mean for corporate structures?
- Are we headed towards a scenario where all technology needs (infrastructure, applications, services, security, etc.) are all plug-and-play or, perhaps better expressed, utility computing?
- How will changes in technology business models impact innovation? How we develop apps in a business context and run apps in a 24x7 user base where new apps are released and used?
- Have we reached a point where the primary value of technology is delivering new products and services (vs. maximizing effectiveness and collaboration or reducing cost/improving efficiency?
Experience the Overview:
Mark Hilllman, VP of Strategy and Product Line Management, Compuware
Following the Roundtable, Mark sits down with Torlisa Jeffrey T'12 to discuss cloud computing.