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Tech evolution creates opportunities for CIOs

Trevor Clarke (via AFR) | Feb. 25, 2013
The rise of mobile consumer devices means companies are adding new IT procurement models to the mix, and this means that information technology departments are expanding their reach.

Tech evolution creates opportunities for CIOs

Photo: Australian Financial Review

Over the past few years the executives running large technology departments have been forced to process difficult messages. Tightened belts have meant that "doing more with less" has become a cliche, and the rise of mobile consumer devices has meant they can no longer dictate what technologies clients - that is, employees - use for work.

The corporate technology model has also been confused by the suggestion that it's not just information technology departments that are buying IT any more. The world is now defined by "[insert your marketing phrase here]-as-a-service" and a move from CapEx to OpEx.

That means anyone with access to a credit card is signing up for a cloud service to use in their organisation whenever they like.

And of course, nothing is desk-based - it's all mobile, perhaps social and related in some way to the pressing need to be neck-deep in big data.

Meanwhile like-minded institutions, such as universities, and artificially cobbled together organisations, such as government departments, are banding together to boost their purchasing or negotiating power against the big nasty vendors, who now find themselves the focus of a parliamentary price gouging inquiry, while others look to in-source, outsource, offshore, right-shore, cloud broker and generally re-evaluate the value of third party service providers, consultants and system integrators.

Nothing is as it was and disruption is the constant - at least that's what we are often led to believe.

But is this the reality in Australia? Has IT procurement undergone such a structural change already or is this the scenario we are going to witness as 2013 unfolds? They are the $60 billion to $72 billion questions as - depending on who you ask - that's the estimated end-user spending on enterprise ICT in Australia in 2013.

But the questions have many dimensions that differ heavily across industries, technologies, services and organisation sizes.

The easy place to start looking for answers is with the dominant technology trends of cloud computing and mobility.

Here there is little doubt that a new range of services, devices and strategies are being adopted with vigour in Australia. This will continue throughout 2013.

On the public cloud front, the adoption of infrastructure, platform and software as a service is growing steadily, and has been bolstered by the on-shore investments in infrastructure by the likes of Rackspace, Amazon, IBM and many others.

However, aside from some anecdotal and often rehashed examples of individuals outside IT departments signing up for cloud services, there has not been any measurable and wholesale rush to circumvent existing IT procurement processes on the way to the cloud.


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