14 February, 2017
Top CIO Concerns & Worries for 2017 – IT’s Déjà vu All Over AGAIN!
The Society for Information Management (SIM) presented the results of their annual survey of what Chief Information Officers (CIOs) believe are the most important issues they will face in 2017. I cannot stop myself from responding – just like I did last year. I keep asking – as I did last week – why conduct an annual survey that says pretty much what the survey says every year? Or why conduct an annual survey with predictable results? Or why list decades old concerns and worries that are in some cases very easily addressed?
This is the second of two sets of observations.
Last time I focused on “completely centralized” and “centralized” governance as the root of all evil. I also noted that the survey data revealed some odd – for 2017 – concerns and worries. There was also very little concerns expressed about digital transformation, post-M&A technology integration, disruptive technology or cloud optimization. The 5 things that keep IT leaders up at night – cybersecurity, IT talent/skill shortage, alignment of IT with the business, credibility of IT/perception of IT leadership and business continuity – were all predictable, especially as IT leaders and CIOs obsess about their professional survival (which the survey suggested they do).
I suggested that the three-decade long business-technology alignment problem could be solved by listening to what keeps CEOs, COOs and CFOs up at night. I also questioned where all the money goes, and asked why so much money still goes to maintain decades-old legacy applications, to run on-premise data centers, technology infrastructure, disaster recovery and master data management could not be reassigned to the cloud. Why is so much money still spent on new applications development? I cynically noted that if I were spending lots of money backwards (on legacy applications) and still developing new applications, I’d also worry a lot about how I was perceived, so #4 on their worry list was justified. I was shocked at the low spending ranking of innovation and suggested that CIOs and their teams look at emerging and disruptive technology such as IOT, AI and augmented reality, among others.