Emerging technologies are reshaping CIO strategies in organisations in every vertical market.  A recent CIO UK roundtable focused on the strategies CIO’s are pursuing as cloud computing and mobility reshape the interaction users have with technology.

Around the table were CIOs representing business process outsourcing, accounting, pharmaceutical research and manufacturing; property management, telecommunications, public sector, academia, insurance, engineering and banking.

Cloud was in various states of integration across all of the organisations present, some were moving to Office 365, while a manufacturer was already a major user, collaboration tools were also being adopted, while other CIOs were looking to rid themselves of the datacentre and put the majority of their organisation into the cloud.

All CIOs present agreed that their strategy is increasingly about delivering flexibility to their organisation and this is what is driving their cloud computing adoption. Interestingly, a number of CIOs suggested that cloud computing was no longer always the option that would reduce costs for the organisation.

Microsoft, sponsors of the event, came in for some focused criticism of their strategy and behaviour towards the CIO community.

“Behave like a service provider,” one major financial services CIO demanded, with a consensus around the table that Microsoft, like many vendors was a sales focused organisation that cared only about targets and charging CIOs for a licence. The CIOs present demand that vendors put the quality of service provision at the heart of their strategy. CIOs discussed organisations like aircraft engine manufacturers that have shifted their business model from selling engines as a product to now operating a service model where the airlines pay the operational time they gain from the engine’s reliability.

The challenging and heated debate showed that the existing business models of the IT vendor community will have to change to meet the changing strategies CIOs are building for their organisations.