Gartner Sees New Era of Business Innovation Driven by IT

Michael Vizard

The trouble with setting priorities when it comes to enterprise IT is that everything is related to everything else. So while mobile computing may be getting a lot of attention these days, the fact is that mobile is just one point on an enterprise IT continuum.

Most recently, Gartner asked more than 2,000 CIOs to list their top 10 business and technology objectives for 2013. The good news is that there is now a lot more emphasis on business innovation versus cost cutting. The bad news is that there are still some significant gaps between where the business and IT priorities are, especially in the areas of analytics and security.

That said, Mark McDonald, a group vice president for Gartner, says the most important thing organizations need to keep in mind in 2013 is that all these technology investments that are being made are related to one another. It’s not really practical, for example, to consider mobile computing without also considering the cloud or advanced analytics without data storage.

The good news is that after wandering the desert in terms of real business innovation for much of the last decade that saw the value of IT devalued across the enterprise, McDonald says organizations are starting to once again view IT as a key enabler of competitive advantage.

Unfortunately, McDonald says a lot of IT organizations don’t have the skills on hand that they need to drive that innovation. Worse yet, no one is really sure what the right level of investment in enterprise IT actually is, and few organizations can really actually quantify it.

In the short term, McDonald says the number one priority for most organizations will be integration. The simple fact is that most organizations today have data all over the place. The first step towards doing anything really innovative is gathering all that information in a way that makes it consumable to the rest of the business.

After harvesting all that Big Data, IT organizations can then start embedding IT deeper into the business with one provision, says McDonald: IT organizations need to distinguish between what is truly profitable for the business versus what is simply possible for the IT organization to do. There is no shortage of compelling emerging technologies; being able to identify which ones are merely cool versus those that make the business more competitive is what McDonald says will truly distinguish the savvy CIO in 2013 from all the rest.



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