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The quantum age of IT: a Q&A with Charles Araujo
The way people consume technology is changing the landscape of how every business operates. CIOs need to be very concerned about how the workforce is changing because of this, and how people expect to work.
By Julie Goulding Published on Sprint Business
Has the CIO really lost control of what's going on within the typical company, and if so, is that necessarily a bad thing? We spoke with Charles Araujo, an author who has written about the future of IT, to see what's worth worrying about and what isn't.
How much influence and control over technology have CIOs lost in recent years? How should they be reacting to this?
I think in many situations the problem has been that technology organizations have viewed themselves as being in control of technology. This idea that the CIO should control technology is something we should let go of. Our role should have always been to influence, yes, but really to guide and enable so that the technology can drive the business forward.
I do agree, though, that there is a sense of a loss of control over the last decade or so. The reason for that is because suddenly our customers have a choice. With the rise of the cloud and other dynamics, this captive audience we had has found other options. We in IT should be fundamentally focused on how technology is being leveraged to drive differentiating value for the organization. A CIO who is grasping at the control of technology is trying to squeeze a water balloon. They are either going to drop it or it’s going to burst all over them. It’s a losing battle.
What are the things that should be top of mind for CIOs/IT departments at mid-market companies?
I think the midmarket has some distinct advantages and challenges, but fundamentally the issues are the same. Every CIO and every IT organization should be focused on one thing, and that is how you add value. Which parts of the technology stack are providing differentiating value? I think where mid-market organizations have an opportunity is that they can move much more quickly; they can get out of the non-differentiating technology. By taking things like email off the table, just completely exiting that business and leveraging the cloud to the fullest extent, they can focus on the things that really move the organization forward and set it apart. Unlike a lot of large organizations, with all their legacy investments, mid-market organizations can move more quickly to take advantage of a cloud-first strategy.