Relying On Technologies That Seamlessly Integrate Gadgets with the Information Systems

Jan Amtoft, Group CIO, FLSmidth
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Jan Amtoft, Group CIO, FLSmidth

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2014

One of the big challenges in technology in 2014 will be adaptation of enterprise clouds. When all the gadgets emerged in the 90s (tablets, smartphones etc) their connectivity was poor and application support even worse. But now, they are no longer “just gadgets” –they are cloud based, reasonably powerful and highly convenient devices that will make our lives and our work more productive. What I really look forward to are easy-to-use, cheap and reliable technologies that will seamlessly integrate these devices and their apps with corporate information systems.

Areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist

There are lots of exciting technologies around. While each technology may be excellent seen in isolation, they never are isolated. They will most likely be included in a patchwork of other technologies; some redundant or overlapping, with conflicting licensing schemes, and plenty of gaps. With sufficient termination and effort it will work, but why isn’t it easier? End-user enterprises are still spending much time and cost on integration inside the  enterprise. It would make our lives a lot easier if vendors provided technologies that would interchange information at a higher level of abstraction and  bugged with less technical detail.

"Emerging technologies are often carried by inflated expectations, which will get you into trouble soon enough"

Trends impacting enterprise business environment

My business environment may be impacted by several technology trends which are emerging or escalating in 2014. Some examples: Cloud based infrastructures are still quite expensive for my enterprise segment, but will be tracked closely. Social media will become even more significant as a means of boosting  intra and extra-enterprise productivity. Performance management and analytics will be more convenient as it is crafted for the cloud based (small) devices.

The role of CIOs today

The CIO role changed much in the last decade and I expect it to change even more in the years to come. While the role emerged from a purely technical background (Engineering, Computer Science) it seems to have been more focused on the (financial) management skills for quite a while. I expect it will end with a compromise. Not many enterprise people takes an interest in how the total enterprise “nervous system” works; how it signals proper or improper  function, how it can be optimized for better flows of cash or goods, how it can be transformed to support new value delivery configurations and sourcing
methods. But the CIO does!

Lessons learned and advice to fellow CIOs

Emerging technologies are often carried by inflated expectations, which will get you into trouble soon enough. As the end-user enterprise technology is becoming more and more friendly, expect some of your biggest challenges in human change management. And try not to start all the projects promoted by your enterprise too early. Pipeline congestion is a very common source of declining IT value generation. Better be a success with 5 good projects than finishing weakly with 10.

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