Watching Apple’s rollout of the ‘new iPad’ and Tim Cook’s talk of the “Post-PC World”, I have to wonder if even more has changed without any bold announcements. Specifically, the dependence of the enterprise on application development/support, business analysis, and many other services of the IT organization. I guess the question is, “Are we living in a Post-CIO World?”
Maybe the question is a little broad and you’re skeptical, but consider these points before you walk away:
- Isn’t the business able to determine many of its own process and data needs instead of relying on teams of coding engineers to build and support custom applications? Didn’t SalesForce prove that?
- Does a carefully designed UI that takes two years to roll out offer any advantage over an app, thrown together quickly but ready for use in days or weeks?
- Does a collaborative world of social media end the need for teams of people to maintain the Exchange Server?
Sure, there’s provocation in my questions, but there is a fundamental shift happening that is often called ‘consumerization’ but is something much bigger than consumer products in work environments. It is also much bigger than Apple versus Microsoft.
We’re seeing the very gradual shift of IT’s role to a data-focused organization and away from applications.
It has become more important to manage web access in many companies than to support email, for decades the cornerstone of communication. Business process is defined and managed by end users before anything can be automated. There’s a quick and dirty way to model almost everything without heavy lifting from technologists.
We’re not in a post-CIO world. We have many reasons to continue to maintain legacy applications, but I would suggest that we’re headed to a new place where IT’s role is far more focused on data architecture and events than applications. This will be a healthy step forward in agility for an enterprise trying to stay ahead of the competition.