Why is it Happening - Learning first-hand from technology industry leaders who are regularly in the field with customers can provide valuable insight into current and future trends. In late June, 2012, Saugatuck Technology’s Bill McNee and Mike West met up with Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology Architect at Accenture in an extended interview, first published in Saugatuck’s CRS-CLS research service. As a courtesy to our broader readership, here we provide a condensed version of Daugherty’s viewpoints across a range of issues. In the interest of space, we have eliminated Saugatuck’s questions, and instead provided a header for each section that encapsulates the topic area that is being discussed by Daugherty.
Key CIO Issues Today: Broadly speaking, I see three key categories of issues that CIOs are grappling with today – and they all revolve around 1) balance, 2) priorities, and 3) talent. In regards to balance, there is the perpetual struggle that CIOs have to balance the needs of the business [in an ever changing business environment] with the need to be more efficient and cost effective, and operate in a very tight cost-control mind set. The second issue is priorities. Keeping a balance requires business and IT leaders to prioritize . . . their new choices in technology, and how they can be used to solve business problems. The third issue is around talent. With the vast changes in technology, talent is moving to the forefront as a critical challenge. This applies to talent to support their existing [legacy] systems to keep the current ship running, but it also increasingly applies to the retooling of talents to support areas like Cloud, big data and mobility, as CIOs incorporate these new technologies into their IT organizational roadmap.
Growing Focus Around Innovation: We are absolutely seeing an increasing focus on innovation, and using technology to drive business innovation. And I think it does go in cycles – look back to the global downturn in 2008 and 2009. At that point in time, we saw a real shift of focus on cost and cost effectiveness and efficiency. When we came out of the downturn, and as the business climate started improving, we saw a real shift to innovation which happened to come together with all the new technology that I have been talking about.
However, I would say there is a broader trend at work here, which is about the “consumerization of technology.” We have done some research on this and the data shows that the amount consumers are spending on their own technology – the amount that you and I spend buying our own personal technology – now exceeds what companies spend on a per capita / individual basis on new technology. That is causing a real shift in mindset.
The net impact is that it creates pressure in the enterprise to adapt those same sorts of consumer technologies to meet the expectations of customers, business partners, and employees. I firmly believe that the focus around consumerization is really an underlying driver and enabler of a lot of the innovation that we are seeing.