Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict, Kevin Jackson

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, @ThingsExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Times of Digital Disruption | @CloudExpo #IoT #AI #ML #DigitalTransformation

IT must become the business

First came Data Processing (DP), as massive, arcane behemoths of computers crunched numbers for select enterprises and government agencies. DP evolved into Information Systems (IS) and in turn, Management Information Systems (MIS). Next up: Information Technology (IT) and its cousin, Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

As the corporate department responsible for enterprise technology evolved, so too did the title of the executive in charge, eventually settling on the Chief Information Officer (CIO) - in spite of the fact that CIOs are rarely if ever in charge of an organization's information per se.

Throughout these changes, the role of the organization we now label IT has evolved, and with it, the focus of the CIO. Today, with digital transformation upending the status quo across the entire enterprise, IT is transforming once again.

Given its history, then, what will the IT organization become as digital transformation works its magic? And correspondingly, what is the new role for the CIO - assuming we'll even need a CIO in the digitally transformed future?

The First Three Roles for IT
To make sense of the role the digitally transformed IT organization must play, it's essential to review the roles that IT has served over its history - not only to understand the past as prologue, but also because each of these roles remains part of the story.

In other words, each role layers on top of the previous ones, adding complexity to an already complex organization. These layers of complexity, of course, are high on our priority list of things we'd love to transform.

The first role for IT - the most universal of all the roles - is IT as cost center.

Of everything an enterprise does, the traditional reasoning goes, some things bring in the bucks and some don't. IT is firmly in the second camp, consisting entirely of overhead.

As a result, the CIO's primary role is cost containment. Do more with less is the mantra - and when times are tight, it becomes do less with less. Little if any of the IT budget is earmarked for innovation.

Layered on top of the cost center role is role #2: IT as service provider. True, IT costs are still overhead, but the CIO's focus shifts from managing costs to serving the business.

Interactions between IT and the rest of the business become service interactions - often leveraging a ticket-based service management system where people ask IT for services and then wait in line to get them.

For the CIO, the service provider role has clear advantages over the cost containment role, as the value IT provides to the business is now quantifiable. As long as the IT organization can innovate in order to provide better service, the reasoning goes, then the CIO is likely to be able to justify the additional expense.

However, CIOs still struggle with the service provider role, because it is entirely tactical. To warrant the ‘C' in the CIOs title - C as in C-level - the CIO must have a strategic role in the business.

That's where the third role for IT comes in: IT as partner with the business. The C-suite finally recognizes that IT is strategically important to the enterprise, and as a result, invites the CIO to join in as a full-fledged member.

Sounds good, right? CIOs who have truly reached the lofty heights of the strategic C-suite may finally feel they have reached the pinnacle of their careers as CIO.

But - and this is a big but to be sure - partnering with the business is no longer good enough. In fact, it's a dot-com era holdover, from when organizations first came to realize that the Internet and the Web in particular were strategic assets.

True, the Internet opened the C-suite door for many CIOs, and today, the enterprises that survived the dot-com boom and bust are the ones that got the Internet right. Kudos to them.

But digital transformation represents the next generation of change. Partnering with the business won't cut it anymore.

The Multifaceted Nature of Digital Transformation
Compared to digital transformation, the Internet revolution was decidedly one-dimensional: either you got the Web or you didn't.

In contrast, the IT-related transformations enterprises are facing today are numerous, complex, and intertwined. Four component transformations in particular are worth calling out.

We have the move to the cloud, transforming how enterprises deploy, pay for, and manage their IT assets.

We have the rise of mobile technologies, changing how customers (and everyone else) interacts with businesses, and as a result, transforming what customers expect from the companies they interact with.

Add to this mix: Software-Defined Everything (SDX). Combining the last decade's principles of Model-Driven Architecture with the technical advances in Software-Defined Networking, we're increasingly able to represent our technology infrastructure as software models. Deploy or redeploy any aspect of our technology, from our network to our applications, with a push of a button.

The Fourth Role for IT
Perhaps most important for understanding the new role for IT, however, is the advent of DevOps. By leveraging the power of Software-Defined Infrastructure, developers, ops personnel, and testers have hammered out entirely new ways of building and deploying software.

And now, the DevOps virus is spreading, infecting the entire enterprise with new ways of organizing itself along horizontal, self-organizational lines.

If we extend these trends into the future, it becomes clear that the entire idea of an IT department as a separate organizational silo within a hierarchically-organized enterprise is becoming obsolete - because hierarchical organizational models themselves do not support the business agility enterprises need to remain competitive in the face of the multifaceted disruption that characterizes today's software-driven business environment.

As a result, digital transformation represents a rethink of enterprise organization from hierarchical and top-down to horizontal and self-organized. DevOps represents early steps to this vision, and SDX is what will make the change practical and cost-effective.

The fourth role for IT, therefore, is for IT to become the business. Every part of the organization, regardless of the nature of the business, becomes software-empowered. Business operations (the role of the COO) and technical operations (the ops part of today's CIO role) become one and the same.

We must still manage technology costs, serve users, and partner with lines of business - but none of these roles alone or taken together tell the story of how fundamentally and comprehensively digital transformation impacts the IT organization and its leadership.

The Intellyx Take
Even though our vision of IT becoming the business is unquestionably bold, don't fall for the straw-man trap of concluding that the digitally transformed enterprise doesn't need an IT effort at all. That fallacious conclusion aligns more with the early, cost center role for IT, reducing costs to zero by extinguishing the department altogether. Clearly, reaching that conclusion is entirely disingenuous.

The reality is subtler and more profound. This transformation, in fact, shakes the C-suite to its core, as the point of the C-suite today is to be the top of the hierarchical pyramid that represents how every large organization structures itself. Do away with the hierarchy, and corporate leadership must transform accordingly - and with it, the role of the CIO.

What will such a digitally transformed enterprise look like? We don't really know, as we only have glimpses as organizations progress along their digital transformation roadmaps.

Remember, however, digital transformation has no end state. For change to become a core competency, today's enterprises will always be in flux - and the ones that embrace that disruption will be the only survivors.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Energy.gov.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...