I know the subject line sounds kind of creepy. But, Co-conspirator Martin Schneider wrote a few weeks ago “What is ITs role in the Social CRM Revolution” and I could not help myself. Then, on this bright and sunny Monday morning, I see a post by Irving Wladawsky-Berger, where he tackles the topic of “IT in the age of the Cloud” The article was forwarded to me by friend Prem Kumar (who we should all welcome to the US for a few weeks). Just to be thorough, I am using the following definition of Socialization: ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’ – which is grabbed from wikipedia.Where Martin raised some great points in his post, but claimed not to have the answers, I will tell you know that I have all the answers! Uh, what was the question again?
IT is definitely changing – changing to what is the real question
Mr. Wladawsky-Berger references a study on The Future of Corporate IT by The Corporate Executive Board.While the study identified did a have a few scary facts about numbers (like “IT function will diminish and its headcount fall by 75% or more”), I am not going there today, I am going to focus elsewhere. The post and the source are both worth taking a look at but I would like to highlight just one or two (as I am writing, I have not decided yet it is going to be one or two) of the core shifts identified.
Information Over Process:
The rise of technology delivered as a service, or the cloud, will significantly reduce sources of competitive advantage from information technology. In theory, a start-up could use the cloud to obtain the same functionality, scale, and quality as an industry leader. Differentiation will lie in how an organization manages change, integrates its service portfolio, and critically, exploits the information the services generate.
The nature of demand for information technology also is changing. Most employees are now knowledge workers. Social media is becoming vital for customer and internal communication, and data volumes continue to rise. As a result, in the business areas that drive growth—innovation, marketing, sales, customer service—up to 80% of IT enablement opportunities relate to business intelligence, collaboration, or the customer interface. At the heart of each of these opportunities is the need to capture, integrate, and interpret information, both structured and unstructured.
I like this one, almost agree with it, and think that is going to be crucial to CRM, Social CRM and Social Business moving forward. I do believe that information is crucial, critical and also really important. More important than the information however, is what you do with it. I would like to think that I am a smart person, I would also like to think that the readers of this post are also smart. The question then is, what would happen if we came upon the same information at the same time? So, I do not see this as really a shift from information to process, just, well, a whole lot more information available to everyone, thus process is even more crucial. This may not really change the point about who has the job, role, function of dealing with this stuff, as I have always said, technologists and business strategists need to work closely together. IT will shift from managing technology in the form of machines to managing technology in the form of processes (remember the good ole days of data processing).
OK, I guess I am going to limit myself to one today, seems like there is a lot to come back to at a later time. To my starting point about the Socialization bit, I do not think it is all that complex, really. IT, like everyone else simply needs to alter the focus over time to information and information processing. Getting the business users the right information at the right time, which for a while I believe is going to still require some technology. What do you think? I am looking forward to dissecting this further, could be fun :-)