Because I’ve been a technology writer for 13 years it seems every 12 months someone is saying the next era of IT is upon us.
Fair enough — this is an industry built on change thanks to ever-increasingly powerful CPUs and the ability for anyone with coding ability and an idea to write revolutionary software. Client-server computing, virtualization, mobile computing, and now the Internet of Things (or Internet of Everything).
But are chief information officers ready for the next/another change? Maybe not, according to Peter Sondergaard, global head of research at Gartner, in a column he wrote for Forbes. Just over half of CIOs who responded to a fourth quarter survey are worried that change is coming faster than they can cope. Forty-two per cent don’t feel they have the talent needed to face what’s coming.
Change is something that few of us like to confront, especially if IT managers. Change usually means spending money (which for the past 13 years has been tight, Gartner noted in a recent presentation to Canadian CIOs) on new technology, making bets on new suppliers, trusting new suppliers, cutting staff, training staff. And on top of that, there’s looking after regular IT security (a bottomless pit of worries now that might become a nightmare when the IoE hits).
By comparison, people lower on the ladder might be able to cope with change better if it’s relatively contained change — you have to learn the R language, you’re going to be supporting five more people from now on. But everything rides on the shoulders of the CIO.
Maybe the IoE won’t mean a new era for your particular organization. Either way, you’ve got to have a coping mechanism for change.