"Those that understand both technology and the business will be the future rock stars of pay and remuneration" - The Financial Times
We've all been working to the mantra of Best Practice - this gives you an advantage because you do today's tasks and processes best.
But to meet the challenge of disrupting your own organisation, you now need to look to Next Practice - doing tomorrow's stuff first. You must exploit your IT and technology skills to disrupt your own market. But how?
It is simply a matter of time before new technology drastically impacts on well established, mature industries and markets and brings about massive transformations to the way they operate. From utilities to the insurance industry and education to healthcare - all are likely to be affected as technology continues to evolve.
We're already witnessing the start of the next wave of computing and its impact with 3D printing, cognitive computing, the Internet of Things and augmented reality beginning to be used by companies across the globe.
3D printing has the potential to dramatically change the way your consumers expect to interact with your products. The possibilities are endless from home printed consumables to health products being printed in hospitals. Consumers will expect not to have to choose between mass produced and bespoke items; they will expect personalisation on an industrial scale.
In many sectors, but especially manufacturing, 3D printing will have a profound effect on the supply chain. BAE Systems, for example, have already printed a part for an aeroplane onsite so as to keep it flying.
Meanwhile cognitive computing has the potential to drive faster and more consistent decision making rather than relying on arbitrary judgements. While the wearable technology and augmented reality will change how we interact with brands – once again coming back to the mass personalisation of brands.
Whatever the next practice is, it is the mindset behind these emerging technologies which will shake up all sector thinking and, as CIO, it begins with you and your team.
The first challenge is predicting what technology will be widely adopted and how this will impact on the organisation. Neglecting to do so could prove disastrous. The number of well-established organisations that have failed to adapt and embrace new technology continues to grow.
As CIO with a sound understanding of the existing business, the technology and its capability, you have the potential to identify the future for your business and disrupt it.
We know that as a leader, CIO's need to be a communicator, able to demonstrate the business benefit of technology in clear terms and defined outcomes. That's a given. However, you've also got to be a creative and disruptive influence within the business. It's up to you, through your horizon scanning skills, to create the connections and make others better at what they do. This will define you as a business partner and enterprise contributor. The CIO of the future will need to be comfortable serving in multi-disciplined teams without clear and concise definitions.
The business of technology is demand creation. In order to maintain their place at the top of their sector, organisations need to be flexible, and capable of adapting to both foreseeable and unpredictable changes. The skills of the future IT professional will be built on one, or more, of these cornerstones: Innovation, Information or Integration. Which will define you?