Among the CIOs I speak with, innovation is the new imperative. They’re eager to innovate, to capitalize on the business aspects of technology, and they really want to be business leaders.
Often the way an IT organization defines innovation is a leading indicator of the size and risk of its innovation business gap. It can be amorphous, defined by popular consensus or defined by the CIO and expressed as a continually refined business process. Many in IT consider their work to be innovative by default. After all, we’re dealing with the latest technologies!
We bring business value to new stuff like the cloud, smartphones, tablets, and social media. We take legacy systems and make them more relevant for mobile, touch, voice, biometrics, and more. We must be innovative to do this! But is that the definition of innovation? One theme that has been coming up again and again in my conversations with CIOs is that they don’t want to be technologists anymore. They want to be business leaders. Technology ownership alone is no longer enough and I’m finding CIOs increasingly trying to define innovation as a first step towards codifying the processes that integrate and sustain innovation throughout the business.
The Innovation Imperative is a reality IT organizations face today. On the heels of such technology revolutions as the consumerization of IT, cloud computing, big data and advanced mobility, IT organizations must evolve to incorporate new technologies at faster-than-ever speeds to meet demands from tech-savvy business users and customers. And it won’t be easy. With the majority of resources dedicated to “keeping the lights on,” IT must determine how to remove inefficiencies to transform infrastructure and resources to be able to deliver business-critical, innovative projects with speed and agility. IT simply doesn’t have a choice but to embrace the practices that foster innovation to remain relevant. Otherwise, the business will bypass IT to attain the technologies needed to better do its job.
Discussions around innovation are happening in the majority of organizations and despite some difficult challenges in front of them, IT organizations can accept the challenge now and become the primary initiators of innovation for their organizations. CIOs are not the principal drivers of innovation – users are. Join us at the Global IT Luminaries virtual event on November 13 for examples of how users are driving innovation and working with IT to deliver on it.