Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Renegade Business Execs, SMAC and Things are Out of Control!

Cloud based Google Enterprise Apps
This morning Cognizant, the company where I work as an analyst, reported their earnings.  In the earnings call Cognizant CEO Francisco D'Souza stated, "This year we expect to deliver about $500 million in SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, cloud) related services."  That is a significant number in Boise, Idaho where I live.

I study SMAC related topics daily and teach SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) workshops globally.  No one is arguing against these mega-trends in 2013.  The questions I get are related to how to embrace and exploit these trends for the good of the company given their unique position, market, industry and region.

On another topic - I read an article today titled, "Renegade Business Execs Drive IT Strategy" that I found intriguing.  Here is an excerpt, "Business executives are increasingly bypassing the IT department and spending their own budgets on technology as "it's too important for their business to leave to IT", says analyst house Forrester."

I believe we are witnessing the beginnings of the "consumerization of enterprise apps.  When powerful and useful enterprise apps are available in the cloud for the choosing, business executives can often select and implement them with minimal IT department involvement.  If the business believes it will help their bottom line, they pull the trigger and use their own budgets.  This of course has implications on how the IT department is viewed and their future missions.

Here is another excerpt from the article, "CIOs now have to pivot and act more as a consultant to the business. The days of a centralized controlled IT world are over. Vendor management can no longer be the central management point for IT departments."  Things are out of control!

The cat is out of the bag!  The horse is out of the barn!  Who let the dogs out?  All odd sayings, but they seem strangely relevant to what is happening in IT.  The business is more and more about technology, and thus business execs are becoming experts themselves in the use of technology to hit their business objectives.  They are no longer depending upon the IT department to recommend and select innovative solutions.  If you are selling technology to companies, you should be paying attention to this trend!

The IT department today is often viewed as the maintenance arm of the company.  The keepers of the systems of record, the ERPs, databases, security systems and IT policies and licenses.  More and more of the innovation seems to be happening in the cloud and on mobile devices.

One last excerpt, "IT will become much less of a blue-collar run and built organization and much more of a white-collar shop focused on design, orchestration and integration, with more of the integration focused on external business partners and public cloud services."

This is the future.  This is why Cognizant is studying and sharing our research on SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) with the world.  This is why we have a SMAC practice.  This is why we are working closely with Google Enterprise to demonstrate what a fully enabled SMAC platform looks like.

If you live in the UK, you may be interested in an upcoming exclusive breakfast discussion on ‘Private, Public and Hybrid Cloud’ the morning of 12th June in Thistle Hotel in Marble Arch. Moderating the session will be Paul Simmonds, ex-CISO of AstraZeneca and of ICI and a panel of experts from Microsoft, Savvis and Interxion.  There are limited seats, but email me if you are interested in attending and I will see what I can do.

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
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Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.