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Wake Up! Your Business Has Changed

How does the CEO make the case for a do-over with his/her IT environment to prevent an extinction event?

We have all been there. Sitting in a stuffy conference room white-boarding and sharing innovative ideas only to be shut-down by the words, "Our IT environment won't support that."  I remember during my time as an IT manager hearing those words over and over.  We were encouraged to be innovative and to beat our competition by being faster, quicker, cheaper, but every idea met with an insurmountable IT obstacle.  It was, at least, insurmountable from our perspective and pay grade.

I see the following weekly:

  • Outdated technology stalls company's growth
  • Outdated technology kills future potential
  • Outdated technology limits and prevents adjustments to business models
  • Past IT investments never achieved predicted ROIs so future investments denied

How does the CEO make the case for a do-over with his/her IT environment to prevent an extinction event?  It's a hard case to make, but a necessary one.  I believe that is the appeal of cloud services and companies like Salesforce.com.  You can use their services, and remain flexible to change if the market demands it.  You are not locked into massive upfront financial commitments and decades worth of business models and processes cemented by outdated ERPs.

Today more than ever a company's ability to compete and be successful is dependent on technology. Technology evolves so rapidly every company should have a dedicated team studying emerging technologies and their potential impact on their industry, market and company.  IDC and Cognizant are now identifying a third platform of computing emerging.  It follows the platforms of mainframes and client/servers.

The third platform of computing is made up of four evolving technologies that have combined:

  • Social
  • Mobile
  • Cloud
  • Big data

This third platform is transforming IT much faster than previous platforms ever did. This has tremendous implications for the IT industry's budgets and priorities.

CIO magazine's managing editor Kim S. Nash writes in the March 28, 2014 edition, "Some of the most effective competitive moves happening today in social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies weren't on anyone's threat horizon until recently."  Nash is emphasizing the incredible speed in which these changes are happening and impacting the IT environment.  And as we know whatever impacts the market impacts the IT environment and the business.

In my last meeting with Forrester VP John McCarthy in London he stated, "Enterprise Mobility will be as transformative as the introduction of ERPs."  That is a bold prediction and one that many CEOs/CIOs are not yet tuned into.

I work with strategy groups in large enterprises around the world, and I must say most do not realize the speed at which digital transformations are happening around them.  They feel they can delay budgeting significant IT transformation projects another few years.  They think they can maintain a slow iterative pace.  My response,  "If a company does not keep up with technology at the same pace at which their customers are adopting the technology, they are losing the race and opening up opportunities for competitors."

Salesforce.com's President Keith Block predicted this week that they will be bigger than SAP.  He might be right.  The market is evolving and adopting cloud services that fast.

Download Cognizant's free Code Halo app for iPads here - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/code-halos/id752380930?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 and learn how Code Halo strategies are changing the rules of business.

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Kevin Benedict Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant View my profile on LinkedIn Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Browse the Mobile Solution Directory Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, SAP Mentor Alumnus, speaker, writer, and mobile and digital strategies expert. He is a popular keynote speaker, and in the past three years he has shared his insights into mobile and digital strategies with companies in 17 different countries. He has over 30 years of experience working with enterprise applications, and he is a veteran mobile industry executive. He wrote the Forward to SAP Press' bestselling book on enterprise mobility titled Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP, and he has written over 3,000 articles.

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