Forget New Year’s Resolutions – Look Ahead to 2020

Now’s the time of year when folks start casually thinking about New Year’s resolutions. It’s kind of a license to misbehave during the holidays if our intentions are to behave better come 2015.

Well, have you got your resolutions for 2020 in place? One expert thinks CIOs should and is addressing issues that will become prominent in five years’ time. He’s putting forth a resolution of sorts that deals with companies evolving to become innovative business IT organizations.

Shane Shick, writing at, says, “A presentation from Phil Carter, vice-president of IDC European Research, was recently uploaded [that says] becoming more innovative essentially requires CIOs to focus on three things:

  1. Cultivate tomorrow’s IT talent today (Think enterprise architects, who will be hard to find)
  2. Deliver the technology the way the business wants (and if not, you’re probably already failing)
  3. Move outside your process comfort zone

It’s well worth your time to read the entire 28-page slideshow. It provides some interesting figures and perspective.

The first slide particularly jumps out. Carter, who is based in Europe, pointed to Spain as a land of innovation. He said 68 percent of organizations in that country have gone through a major IT re-organization in the last 12 months. That points to either a need to get up to current technology standards or a turnaround in Spain’s economy.

But more important than just reorganizing, Spanish companies are making a commitment to staying in front of technology. More than 52 percent have created a new group focued on innovation, according to the IDC Spanish IT Executive Survey conducted in April 2014.

Spanish companies are committed to three things, which should be considered by any CIO regardless of location:

  • Application Modernization
  • Legacy Outsourcing Contracts
  • Data Center Strategies

The innovation in the next 15 years is going to come from the 3rd Platform, according to Carter. That includes the areas of the cloud, big data analytics, mobility and social business. The 3rd Platform, he goes on to explain, is “a business platform that is transforming organizations” in the areas of customer relationships, the workforce, products and services, and business models.

Carter then went on to discuss Domino’s Pizza and how it sold $163 million worth of pizza via its mobile platform in the UK and Ireland. He said that was accomplished by transforming to a Business Innovation IT Organization.

There are 5 elements that define if a company transforms to a Business Innovation IT organization.

  • Ad Hoc: the worst of the steps – basically a company that does nothing proactive for its IT needs.
  • Opportunistic – there are uncoordinated efforts between business and IT around 3rd Platform implementations; limited progress toward 3rd Platform adoption
  • Repeatable – coordinated efforts between business and IT around 3rd platform implementation allow organization to keep pace with peers in adoption
  • Managed – effective partnership between business and IT around implementations allows organization to outpace competitors
  • Optimized – highly orchestrated interaction between business and IT enabling a world-class organization with lasting competitive advantage.

Accelerating transformation by 2020 is going to require savvy CIOs to start cultivating IT talent today, especially in terms of enterprise architects; deliver technology the way business wants with a focus on urgency, speed and time to market; and, move outside your process comfort zone.

The latter is probably the most important for the CIO who wants to be 2020 compatible five years ahead of time. Best practices need to evolve, according to Carter. Continuous improvement will plot a steadier course to success instead of the up and down cycles of innovation.


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