The Canadian who worked on the advisory board with the International Federation for Information Processing shares the major themes that emerged with discussions among 500 attendees

World CIO Forum: The vice-chair’s 8 takeaways

CIOs from more than 50 countries collaborated and created a manifesto about their role as part of the first World CIO Forum last November, an event filled with notable insights could shape and guide decisions for their peers in 2012.

Sponsored by the United Nations-founded International Federation for Information Processing, the first-ever WCF took place in Shenzhen, China. It was exhilarating to exchange best practices with more than 800 executives from governments, industry, business and academia. I participated in the invited role of vice-chair of the World CIO Forum International Advisory Board and chaired the session on enterprise architecture. My takeaways:

  • Globalization is forcing global exchanges, collaboration, information sharing. This is impacting the role of IT leaders as they grapple with a rapidly changing ecosystem, international technical standards and specifications and evolving regulatory systems.
  • Green IT and the Green Economy are at the forefront for CIO Planning and are being integrated into “sustainability” initiatives.
  • Focus on sustainable development with environmentally neutral impact, social responsibility, sponsorship of entrepreneurship / research / education, leveling the digital divide for the over 7 billion population in 2012.
  • Mobile network innovation is a priority due to the explosion of smart phones, with over two billion mobile shipments expected in 2012.
  • Cloud Computing and private cloud is becoming the norm and CIOs are interested in fully realizing its benefits while they contend with security challenges, human resources and the budgeting impact on the organization. IT is divided into three stages of evolution. In stage one, IT was weak and separate. In stage two, the rapid integration of IT into all areas made it inseparable. In stage three, with the dominance of cloud computing, IT will again return to an independent form. We are in stage two and transitioning to stage three.
  • Consumerization of IT and the planned need to integrate tablets, smart phone and added digital devices into organizations is a critical area. IT is moving from enterprise innovation into consumer-driven innovation that increases complexity and difficulty for IT leaders.
  • Enterprise Architecture (EA) integration and transformation is enabling businesses to translate their vision and strategy into effective enterprise change and enabling its evolution beyond IT/Business alignment. IT leaders are accountable as organizations are striving to maximize resources and profitability; to be agile, responsive, cost/expense efficient, and more effective in today’s globally connected and highly competitive world; many have yet to achieve the benefits that only EA can produce.
  • This excerpt from the Global CIO Joint Declarations says it best: “We strive to support [the] IT Industry and professionalism of IT career.” “We will ensure the highest standards in our work, and with both quality and ethics, and will act diligently and professionally, and with integrity in discharge of our duties for the best interest of our respective organizations and society.” This is a key acknowledgement of the importance of ethics and IT professionalism which lays the foundation for IT as a recognized profession.

Due to the success of the World CIO Forum, modeled after the world economic forum, the 2012 World Computer Congress will have an industry focus and planning is well underway. I will be chairing the Global Industry Council session and will be meeting again with fortune 1000 CIOs.

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