CIOs (Chief Information Officers) have a big problem. The pace of change in technology is mind numbing. With the advent of the App store and the exponential proliferation of apps for just about anything imaginable, organizations are having a tough time managing their Information Technology infrastructure. I remember the days when Microsoft software upgrades were done annually and operating systems lasted sometimes two or three years before a new release would be officially support by the IT department. Now it’s down to a daily occurrence. New software, apps, sites, productivity tools are pouring out at us like a tsunami that cannot be stopped.
Since April, 50,000 new apps were added to the App store, making it a total number of 650,000 apps and growing. That doesn’t even count the apps that are being created for the Android devices. If you are the CIO of your organization, or head of IT your life is more chaotic than ever before. IT professionals are dealing with security issues, compatibility, scalability and internal bandwidth to deal with the ever clamoring demands from their internal customers who want the latest version of the software-du-jour that they just cannot live without. And most of the time they have a point. Why wait 6 months for the internal team to build a marketing or productivity app or microsite instead of buying something that can be downloaded quickly and be operational in a few hours with a very small financial investment?
This is a losing battle over complete control of all things digital. Most everything today is digital–no, everything is. If I were in charge of IT here is how I would managed it:
Change the way I see my job. You can no longer control everything digital. If you try, you’ll strangle the organizational growth, lose your job or both. Look as your job as facilitate change and not stop it.
Figure out new priorities. Data integrity and security are your primary concerns, but systems integration is the new normal. It’s a part of doing business. You can no longer be an island and develop all your tools internally and manage all your digital assets with the in-house IT team. It’s just no longer financially feasible.
Think API (application protocol interface). Make sure your internal system can talk easily with the outside world. If you have a simple API then you can collect, manage and send out data efficiently. Your business’ success depends more and more on how fluid you can share your data across multiple platforms and devices. Instead of thinking of ways to keep people out, think how you let them interface with you safely and easily.
What’s your organization’s biggest challenge with IT ?