Inside CSC World
One of the nice things about spending 20 years in the enterprise IT environment is that things never stay still. Every few years some sort of transformational development occurs that causes IT decision makers to re-evaluate their assumptions, recalibrate their operations and refocus their objectives.
However, the past five years have truly introduced not just new disruptive technologies, but also a fundamentally different perspective on the relationship between end users and technology, between technology and the enterprise, as well as between technology leaders and their expected contribution to innovation. Technology departments — and their leaders — bear little resemblance to the management information systems departments of the early 1990s when I first started covering technology as a cub reporter.
Few people may be aware, but it is a documented fact that CSC actually coined the term consumerization of IT in the early part of the new millennium (thanks to our research arm at the Leading Edge Forum). It was rooted in observations we had made that the quality of technology was shifting away from the enterprise as the primary source and driver of major developments in software, networking and computing power.
Back then, technology flowed from inside of the IT organization to the end users. In the late ’90s, employees who came to work could expect to see technologies that were more innovative and sophisticated in their office than in their home. Technology was seen for what it was — a tool to enhance productivity and accomplish specific tasks. As we moved deeper into the mid-2000s, that dynamic shifted as wireless networks, smartphone technology and a rich array of cloud services introduced innovation that empowered consumers to be more creative and fun, not just fulfill tasks that they needed to do. It was a critical shift in the relationship between individuals and their devices, applications as well as network resources.
Technology today is so much more than a tool. In many ways, it’s actually an extension of our personality. This shift in the relationship between end users and technology completely changed the relationship between technology and the enterprise. Instead of being strictly a driver of efficiency and granular productivity that drives out costs, today technology is expected by the enterprise to harness human potential and yield less tangible but more valuable outcomes related to innovation.
This brings us to what we are now coming to expect from our technology leaders. Today, between the advances in mobility, the bring-your-own-device trend (BYOD), virtualization, as well as cloud computing, IT leaders are not so much issuing technologies as they are absorbing an outside-in flow of technology. Often new technologies and technology-enabled business strategies are less than fully mature compared to the traditional approach of technology management theory. The skills, competencies and perspectives of CIOs today and in the near future are far more dynamic than they ever have been.
Be sure to read our cover story, “CIO Barometer: A Storm Is Coming,” to explore these issues and to hear more from your colleagues — the findings of our research are based on a survey of more than 330 IT directors and managers at major North American and European companies and public agencies.
In this issue we offer a wide variety of topics that are top-of-mind for CIOs, including big data, cloud computing, applications, privacy and security, BYOD, Windows 8 and much more.
Don’t miss our new columns that feature CSC subject matter experts from various industries and countries — in this issue we hear from the leaders of North American Public Sector and the UK. And, with this issue, we introduce “Heard on csc.com” — where we highlight some of the interesting discussions occurring in our Town Hall webcasts, online communities and our Ingenious Minds blogs.
There’s a lot going on here at CSC. We hope you enjoy the issue and hope you have the opportunity to visit and interact with us online. CSC World is also available at www.csc.com/cscworld, where you can subscribe, comment on stories or download mobile versions.
Patricia Brown, Editorial Director, CSC World