The InformationWeek 500 conference brought together the most innovative and forward thinking CIOs and their senior leadership teams throughout North America. Companies such as Lowes, Boeing, Eli Lilly, UPS and Procter & Gamble gathered for three days to learn from each other, find out about the latest technology and hear what industry experts have to say. The southern California conference proved to be an exciting and dynamic opportunity for CIOs to see how their colleagues have dealt with economic issues, changes in customer and employee expectations along and advancements in technology.
InformationWeek’s Editorial Director opened up the conference with the “New Rules for IT” and shared his belief on where IT is going, how changes will impact future organizations and where the best of the best IT teams will garner the most out of their budget and shrinking teams by relying heavily on cloud solutions, mobile devices and big data analytics. He discussed how IT can no longer mean internal tech support; for IT to succeed they will need to be customer facing, to “embed technology into their products and services” in order to “improve customer experiences” and “engage with their customers and employees in new ways”. The InformationWeek 500 conference proved to be a place where thought leaders brought their issues and innovations to the table to learn from each other and to find solutions to their problems.
A recurring theme that resonated throughout the conference centered around the CIO’s roles, and responsibilities and their difficulty finding time to be strategic and innovative. They know that they need to continue to be innovative, to consult with the business and to lead growth of their company by leading the way through technological innovation. They want to focus on having the right strategy along with the people to make that happen. It is critical for them to offload activities that can be handled more efficiently and cost-effectively elsewhere so they can free their team to do more strategic and business-specific activities. 85% of the InformationWeek 500 are now using SaaS solutions and 27% are utilizing Platform-as-a-Service solutions. This is up from 19% last year. Growth in mobile computing is driven by the need to improve both customer and employee experiences; only 8% of all the companies surveyed are not considering mobile applications for their customers and 25% have widespread deployment of mobile apps for their employees.
Even though IT has experienced shrinking budgets over the last few years, they experienced an increase in spending in 2012 and foresee another increase in 2013; mostly due to the fact that value is being created and they are no longer reactive in their IT efforts. 58% of these companies developed a “revenue-generating product or service” in 2012. The cloud helps enable this. One speaker put it succinctly and clearly; the “cloud is about simplicity and consistency” while another CIO discussed how time works against you in IT. So cloud solutions get you where you want to go more quickly, more efficiently and at a fraction of the cost.
– Robert Zuckman
Robert is a Sr. Sales Executive at Liaison Technologies