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Remain Relevant – Relinquish the Reins
9 April 2014

Week02_Relinquish-Control

CIOs who want to continue managing IT as a kingdom in today’s tech-savvy, fast-paced corporate world will be managing an ever-diminishing realm, according to Coca-Cola Amatil’s group CIO, Barry Simpson.

“As technology is evolving more quickly and moving into more parts of the business, your role in IT is to manage that ecosystem not control it,” Simpson tells CIO Australia. “If all you do is control, you’ll be too slow, expensive and make yourself irrelevant.

Simpson cites the consumerisation of IT, making IT suitable or available for mass consumption which in turn raises the level of technology literacy, particularly amongst Gen Y and Gen Z individuals who have grown up with technology as a given.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers also refer to “The consumerisation of IT – the next generation CIO”, a Center for Technology Innovation publication which states in its summary, “To be successful, CIOs need to be more proactive.  Accepting the inevitability of the consumerisation trend and preparing for it by rethinking how they run IT.  CIOs should consider forging new, collaborative relationships with users, giving them freedom to make IT decisions, and teaching them how to assume responsibility for those decisions.  And rather than enforcing hardware and application standards, they’ll need to rethink IT architecture and controls to focus on controlling — or loosening controls on — information.”  Their publication concludes,

“Getting ahead of consumerisation will not only align your technology and management systems to the human reality, reducing friction, but it will also put you in a stronger position to lead technology and the business as a whole.”

The mobility of technology is also challenging traditional ideas and activities.  Smart phones and tablets can be used anywhere, anytime, this is a trend towards BYOD – Bring Your Own Device which in itself is creating a revolution.  IT leaders need to be proactive and create processes in line with this trend and actively manage and embrace it or they will disappear.