Saturday, October 22, 2011

Innovate or Die: Actions IT Solution Providers Can Take To Help IT Leaders Meet the Number One Challenge for 2012

Each year over 8,000 CIOs and IT Leaders gather in Orlando for Gartner’s Symposium and IT Expo to discuss the latest research from Gartner analysts, and the sessions are never short on predictions, insight and even controversy, all helping to shape the top IT priorities and investments for 2012 and beyond. The 2011 sessions did not disappoint, with analysts urging “creative destruction” as one of the most important strategies for IT executives to embrace. 

“For the IT leader to thrive in this environment, IT leaders must lead from the front and re-imagine IT,” according to Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. “IT leaders must embrace the post-modern business, a business driven by customer relationships, fueled by the explosion in information, collaboration, and mobility.” According to Gartner, this new era brings with it urgent and compelling forces including the cloud, social, mobility, and an explosion in information”.

This recommendation, to re-imagine IT, in many cases may include “tearing down” current IT before building it back up, and can have a profound and significant impact on the way IT solutions are marketed and sold, providing both an opportunity and significant challenges.

According to Gartner, over 70% of IT spending is dedicated to “keeping the lights on”, leaving an inadequate budget for innovation. The allocation comes at a time when users are spoiled by consumer innovation including tablets, mobile applications, social networking, application stores / marketplaces and more,  with users expecting corporate IT to deliver similar solutions and experiences.

“Most IT organizations have 70 percent or more of their time, money and mindshare locked into reliability, keeping things going,” said Tina Nunno, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Yet demands for game changing IT capabilities are growing every year. IT leaders must transform their businesses, products, services, and value proposition to the external customer, and challenge traditional ways of thinking.”

With scant budget and resources available to adequately address these demands, IT leaders are looking for guidance on how to “do more with less” in maintaining and supporting the existing infrastructure, allowing more to be spent on innovation. As well, IT leaders are looking for ways to implement innovative consumer-like solutions with less mess, faster and less expensively for their ever-more demanding user base.

And this is where the opportunity lies for IT solution providers, delivering proactive consultative advice to IT executives to help them overcome this number one challenge, to Innovate or Die, including:

1)   Evaluating current infrastructure spending and providing cost savings ideas to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of current hardware, software and services, freeing up more budget for innovation;

2)   Helping CIOs with creative destruction to “re-imagine IT” – developing plans and business cases to more easily challenge the status-quo and reconstruct IT to better support user’s “consumerization of IT” demands;

3)   Aligning solutions and value propositions with major strategic focus including cloud, social, mobile and information;

4)   Making investing in innovative solutions easier and less risky, delivering consumer like experiences in devices and solutions, but with enterprise class change management, service management, security and governance.
Gartner analysts say “IT leaders must destroy perfectionism and embrace calculated risk. CIOs tend to be perfectionists who are highly detail-oriented. It’s what has made so many of them good at their jobs. However, it can sometimes lead to issues with risk and uncertainty.” “Never taking risks means you are predictable and an easy target for your competition,” According to Ms. Nunno, CIOs should “Strive to take calculated risks and surprise both your business and the competition.”

IT solution providers need to recognize the unique challenges facing today’s CIOs, helping them overcome risks and providing tangible solution sets to deliver on these three recommended programs, and empower sales and marketing to engage and sell using these methodologies.

The Bottom-Line
IT is challenged like never before – forced already to do more with less, saddled with a legacy infrastructure that is expensive to maintain and support and doesn’t meet user’s consumer-like expectations. Solution providers that provide the proactive consultative advice and solutions to help IT meet these new challenges and embrace change will be the winners in 2012 and beyond.

Sources:
Gartner Says Now More Than Ever Is the Time to Re-Imagine the Role of IT -http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Gartner-Says-Now-More-Than-bw-875686904.html?x=0&.v=1

Gartner Says Worldwide Enterprise IT Spending to Reach $2.7 Trillion in 2012 - http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Gartner-Says-Worldwide-bw-1170062785.html?x=0&.v=1


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