Home > For thoughts.., technology and us.. > The role of IT… an alchemic question..

The role of IT… an alchemic question..

I am back from the Forum IT held in San Gimignano, right in the middle of Tuscany (home, for a change!!!) and in a wonderful location.. why this sort of “touristic incipit”?? One reason, mainly, a small tiny winy detail: that quiet and lush environment stirred the most stunning flow of conversation, quite a lot of business considerations and an amazing array of personal chats and, quite a rare occurrence these days, of the utmost intelligence and elegance.. I must say a soothing experience and quite refreshing indeed..

The business issues were all related to the current role of Information Technology and its company champion, the CIO, in the present evolutionary scenario.. the debate went on a couple of divergent directions: a sort of initial mainstream idea was pointing out to the IT being a mandatory and, as of today, commodity function within the organisation, the other standpoint, later on in the day, headed towards the strategic role of IT as enabler of a new sort of sentient organisation, therefore forcing the CIO role to a connection, a hub of utmost technology competence coupled with (at least) a thorough business understanding..

That may sounds like “so what..” kind of a stuff, however I have been posed since 1995 with two  questions: the importance of the SMEs market in Italy and how to rise the IT to strategic level within any company’s board… I believe today there are plenty of research and data that pinpoint the alive-and-kicking dichotomy between technology and business, the role of the CIO as a guardian of an almost forgotten druidic knowledge of IT and as the paramount driving force of a new business capability… as per the importance of SMEs in Italy, that is still lingering about..

Around 60% of companies has stated, in a fairly recent survey I happened to read (details upon request…), that the utmost company priority is about cost reduction, and immediately after that 25% quoted “development of new product/services” as a top priority, whilst the main trouble areas for an IT management are about keeping the internal IT skill set alive (39%)  and how to integrate heterogeneous systems into a coherent technology fabric (34%), it is no wander that CIOs complaint about the scarcity of resources to develop new initiatives… and yet, the discussion is always about the strategic role of IT as if all business functions and evolutionary capability would not set their roots into a rather firm IT ground. Most of the IT crowd I generally meet points out that the more pressing need today is about finding the right language pack to discuss with business folks.

As pointed out with some friends at the Forum, the business declinations of information technology today are the pillars of Hercules between success and failure, IT is the detonator for superior strategic acumen…

Ops, there we are again, it is all down to brains and management ability, I guess…. quite an hard call sometimes..

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