by Randy Littleson
Just read an interesting article entitled “How are CIOs looking at today’s disruptive tech trends?” that summarizes a recent roundtable on digital strategies featuring the CIOs from American Express, Bechtel, Chevron, Eastman Chemical, Eaton Corporation, the Hilti Group, Holcim, Nestle, Sysco, and Time Warner Cable.
It’s an interesting look into the challenges these CIOs face as a result of the major disruptive technologies that are getting so much press these days (mobility, social media, consumerization, cloud and big data). The article details 6 key insights about new disruptive technology that I think are insightful for anyone in IT (there’s a link to a 17 page report within the article as well).
One of the six insights really caught my eye: “Designing for loss of control” is one of IT’s key challenges. In essence, it acknowledges that IT can’t keep up, but is still going to be held accountable for security, reliability and performance. I would add spend management to this as well. This is very true and matches what we see every day around applications.
IT is being asked to deliver applications faster to their business users, cope with rapidly changing access requirements (e.g., the same app accessible on a laptop and an iPad) while trying to leverage new technologies (e.g., cloud, virtualization) to meet these needs and save money. Most organizations don’t have mature application readiness processes because in a more static world, it just wasn’t the priority. But, in today’s rapidly changing, heterogeneous and increasingly complex environment, they need to establish a robust process to automate and manage application migrations and on-going operations to accelerate Windows application availability for on-premises, virtual or cloud deployments. This process needs to automate and manage compatibility assessment, application packaging and deployment, which now excludes the expectation of applications being virtualized, deployed in the cloud and accessible to employees via a self-service enterprise app store.
In addition, given the strategic importance and aggregate spend of applications, IT must establish processes for software asset management and license optimization to ensure they are buying what they need and using what they bought. But this too is becoming increasingly difficult with the influx of new technologies such as virtualization and bursting to the cloud which makes tracking and understanding application usage that much more challenging. Processes need to be established to continuously ensure usage is in compliance with software license agreements and to provide the organization the insights they need to manage how many software licenses are required based on actual usage on a global basis.
IT will continue to be held accountable for ensuring software license compliance and driving increased application usage despite the disruptions that all of this external technology change represents. Establishing business processes to manage application readiness, software asset management and license optimization can go a long way to helping IT “design for loss of control” by ensuring that continuous processes are in place to strategically manage application usage.