CIO Action Plan: 10 Takeaways From Wall Street Journal CIO Conference

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2014-02-12 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

DEL MAR, Calif.—There aren't too many organizations powerful enough to attract a large group of the world's most influential IT executives to one place for a couple of days, but the Wall Street Journal is certainly one of them. The financial publication held its second (and possibly annual) CIO Network conference Feb. 5 and 6 at the Grand Del Mar near San Diego. About 120 CIOs were in attendance in a single-day meeting that included several open sessions and some cloistered private meetings that enabled them to speak freely among themselves. If there was a single most important takeaway from this daylong get-together on the Southern California coast, it was this: CIOs need to start thinking more like CFOs, or else they will slowly forfeit their power to other colleagues. All the trends we see in IT business evolution ultimately end up as real tasks on the CIO's desk. Some of the more recent developments, such as BYOD and BYOC (bring your own device or cloud), consumerization and "gamification," have caused even more headaches than usual. This eWEEK slide show presents the most important takeaways from the sessions.

 
 
 
  • CIO Action Plan: 10 Takeaways From Wall Street Journal CIO Conference

    by Chris Preimesberger
    1 - CIO Action Plan: 10 Takeaways From Wall Street Journal CIO Conference
  • CIOs Need to Start Emulating CFOs

    CIOs need to start thinking more like CFOs, or else they will slowly forfeit their power to other colleagues. This year, CIOs will be required to better convey their value in pure financial terms because they are competing with a multitude of shadow IT services. We're talking about standard cloud services such as Google Docs, Salesforce, Workday, Dropbox and others, but also about lesser-known open-source and specialized cloud services such as Tucows, FileHippo and others.
    2 - CIOs Need to Start Emulating CFOs
  • CIOs Are Rapidly Becoming IT Brokers

    CIOs will not permit do-it-yourself IT simply for its own sake or because it's easier, ostensibly more efficient and unshackled to corporate red tape. New-gen CIOs are rapidly becoming technology brokers. The fallback strategy now in IT is to buy a tried-and-tested solution; even among midrange and smaller enterprises, the idea of building a custom solution is becoming more and more a liability.
    3 - CIOs Are Rapidly Becoming IT Brokers
  • Mobile Users Should Be Target No. 1

    Steve Jobs, never himself a CIO but perhaps one of the best big-picture thinkers of our time, was right: IT is all about the user interface and how to make it work effectively and efficiently for each consumer—and the enterprise. Look at all the attention on mobile devices and the pivot to "personal clouds." CIOs must cater to those consuming their services, or else they will lose to easy and free-to-obtain external services.
    4 - Mobile Users Should Be Target No. 1
  • CIOs Need to Be Marketers for IT Services Within Their Own Enterprises

    CIOs also must become more advanced marketers within their own realms. Some may go so far as to hire internal marketers to keep end-user market share within the company. After all, IT services are charged back to various divisions and departments, and any "profit" from well-run service departments can be a huge feather in the CIO's cap.
    5 - CIOs Need to Be Marketers for IT Services Within Their Own Enterprises
  • Budgets Continue on the Way Up

    While IT budgets are slowly moving higher, investment in new services also is rising. IT budget growth levels are returning to pre-recession levels, with 43 percent of CIOs operating with bigger budgets in 2013. Analysts have projected that half of CIOs will have larger budgets in 2014; a spot poll at the WSJ event was right in line, reporting that 51 percent of attendees believe 2014 will be better budgetwise at their organizations than 2013.
    6 - Budgets Continue on the Way Up
  • Recruiting Wars for the Best Talent Is as Nasty as Ever

    The war for recruiting IT development and administrative talent is getting even nastier, thanks to the growth of many successful new-gen IT companies. Despite the move toward 21st-century talent, the classic technology skills of business analysis, enterprise/technical architecture and project management remain the most in-demand overall.
    7 - Recruiting Wars for the Best Talent Is as Nasty as Ever
  • Mobile Development Skills Remain a Hot Item

    Demand continues to rise for mobile development skills: About 40 percent of CIOs are now seeking mobile applications talent, which represents a double-digit increase in demand (12 percent) over the last two years. Qualified developers are sought for both front-end and back-end work.
    8 - Mobile Development Skills Remain a Hot Item
  • Security Is Still a Top 2 Priority

    Security concerns remain high on the list—nearly always in the top two in research studies. Only 26 percent of CIOs believe they are well-positioned to deal with current or near-future security issues, down from 29 percent in 2012 and 37 percent in 2011.
    9 - Security Is Still a Top 2 Priority
  • CIOs Seek New Solutions for Shadow IT

    Usage by employees of social networks and the general consumerization of IT are as problematic as security. CIOs remain wary of shadow IT and BYOD trends, believing that the advantages they bring are outweighed by the disadvantages. Nonetheless, with new-gen software coming to the fore—such as Cloud Cruiser and others—in this area, CIOs are increasingly looking for new management solutions.
    10 - CIOs Seek New Solutions for Shadow IT
  • Big Data Is the Next Big Challenge

    Big data is officially a big deal. Half of all CIOs are encouraging big data development, and about the same number expect to invest more in big data-related solutions in 2014.
    11 - Big Data Is the Next Big Challenge
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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