I recently gave the opening keynote at the SAP Australia User Group Summit on Leadership in Enterprise Technology. After my keynote Inside SAP did a brief video interview of me. The video and a rough transcript are below.
Some of the key themes are the idea of governance for transformation, how technology can support the ‘humanity’ of an organization, and of course leadership in enterprise technology.
Transcript: The intersection between enterprise technology trends and leadership
What will the future of enterprise technology look like?
We now have a truly connected world, where computing can literally happen anywhere. Where individuals have access to extraordinary technologies and dictate how they want to be able to use their technologies. It creates an entirely different landscape in which Enterprise Technology needs to take a leadership role. It is being subject to buffeting forces in where technology is coming from.
How can companies overcome barriers to innovation?
Organizations need to become more agile, adaptable, able to change what they are. This changes the nature of the organization itself. This is far more a cultural shift than it is technology or structure. I do believe that the idea of governance for transformation is fundamental.
We do need governance to be able to put structures around some of the risks as well to be able to understand the benefits emerging, but governance must be an enabler of transformation. So when we are looking at innovation efforts, be they explicit strategy innovation or product innovation, or they are simply creating organizations that can respond better to environment, I believe that governance from the Board of Directors down to the organization is a fundamental enabler of being able to drive effective innovation.
Which technology trends are particularly disruptive?
Vast computing powers are going into the hands of individuals. There’s processing power in terms of connectivity, and mobility is fundamentally changing the dynamic of enterprise technologies. Providers of technology and the consumers of technologies will often already have better technology in their own hands.
It applies differently across every industry, but the rise of the amount of data available and what can be done with that, the whole idea of big data which is now becoming ‘staggeringly enormous data’, changes the whole nature of what the organization it is, how it makes decisions.
What impact does technology have on organizational culture?
What is more important today than ever before, is not just technology as the enabler, but how technology relates to the humanity of the organization, to the culture of the organization.
I think social media is just one aspect of that. But on a deeper level technology is becoming enmeshed in the humanity in the organization, which was never the case before.
How will the role of the CIO change?
One of the aspects of the CIO is they are moving from managing infrastructure to hopefully managing the strategy of technology, being at the heart of strategy inside the organization. It is a shift in role to be truly in the C suite of the organization.
We’re seeing diverging paths. In some organizations technology is becoming marginalized. It is viewed as a commodity which needs to be done well and done cheaply. There are other organizations where it’s seen that technology is truly at the heart of strategy, at the heart of what the organization is becoming. The role of the CIO is to demonstrate the importance of technology being the heart of the organization. Those CIOs that are not doing that effectively are really abrogating their responsibility to that organization in creating a successful future.