Mobile, cloud, social and information are the four pillars of what Gartner calls a “nexus force.” These topics will drive business in coming years, and both chief executives officers (CEOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) need to develop strategies focusing on them. To continue to move an IT organization toward the leading-edge, the company must position itself to compete worldwide and develop more-flexible initiatives, and create strategies, architecture and governance to support them.
Gartner’s nexus is comprised of trends that the consultant firm believes will transform enterprises in the near future. Gartner says the future will be more integrated and connected when it comes to social, mobile, cloud and information technologies.
The impact of social networking and social media tools on the corporate environment is already a reality. However, as Cassio Dreyfuss, vice president of Gartner Research, stressed during the opening session of the Gartner’s Data Center Conference held in São Paulo last week, neither CIOs nor CEOs are aware of it. “They did not mention it in our research, but Gartner is betting on social media tools. We truly believe in their heavy corporate adoption.”
Gartner’s bet is based on the huge amount of investment that has been done in developing social media tools.
Dreyfuss means that if companies currently do not use social media tools now, the reason has more to do with security issues and the lack of policies than with the tools’ inefficiency. Gartner’s advice is to build a social media strategy plan and integrate it with business intelligence and collaboration strategies. “Do not let it just happen without any corporate control. Instead, draw a structured business process plan,” he said.
With a similar approach to build mobile strategy, IT organizations need to work with their marketing departments to identify mobile applications and strategies that enhance customer experience or support new offerings, such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. “Enterprises have already surrendered to BYOD. The question is how IT will control it,” Dreyfuss said.
“CIOs have to learn to lose control a little bit and let it go,” said David Coyle, Gartner‘s research VP of the IT operations management team (read the story here).
Indeed mobility and cloud computing are changing how people and companies interact with information. “All companies should move from current traditional architecture to a cloud-enabling architecture, with more facilities for interaction with the cloud. It does not mean that 100% of enterprises will be based on cloud computing, but they need to be cloud-enabling,” explained Dreyfuss.
If cloud is inevitable, enterprises need to be prepared in order to take advantage of its standards, scalability, elasticity and service-based characteristics. “I see similar opportunities for cloud services as I saw in the past with the potential of outsourcing,” said Dreyfuss.
Mobile, cloud and social media, all three culminate in a new information management approach, addressing big data issues, nontraditional information sources and unstructured data. This will evolve in the direction of a new approach to business intelligence systems, using the analysis of information in a more predictive way. “CIOs must forget about former IT management and focus on new trends,” Dreyfuss said.
Dreyfuss also noted that innovation, management tools and an undisciplined environment are driving IT organizations to success. He explained that enterprises, especially in the Latin American region, must balance potential new opportunities afforded by high growth with the issues they create. “The stimuli of the new environment are numerous and frequent, so it is very difficult to analyze them,” he noted.
Innovation is also a key issue, since businesses must put new technologies on a three- to five-year horizon and leverage them to increase competitiveness locally and globally. “Innovation can be pushed by IT, but it must be pulled by business,” said Dreyfuss.