Innovation is cheap and CIOs are all ears: Telsyte

There has been a shift in mindset because the barrier of entry for a lot of new innovative services and goods is quite low compared to what it was a few years ago, according to Telsyte.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

CIOs are more receptive to implementing innovative IT offerings in their businesses thanks to a lower cost of entry for these new technologies, according to Telsyte.

The analyst firm's survey of over 800 Australian CIOs and IT decision makers showed that addressing operational concerns such as security and skills development are still their top concerns. However, innovation has been ranked fifth on the priority list compiled by Telsyte, with 26.9 percent of respondents recognising it as something important to their businesses, and 7.5 percent labelling it as being critical.

"There has been a shift in mindset, because the barrier of entry for a lot of new innovative services and goods are quite low compared to what it was a few years ago," Telsyte analyst Rodney Gedda told ZDNet. "Companies can take advantage of cloud services and mobile apps to be more innovative, and they don't have to invest on the scale they would have had to previous."

Incidentally, mobility was fourth on the list.

IT innovation is seen as something that can make businesses more agile, as new technologies can be applied to traditional operational areas to make them more efficient, according to Gedda.

Public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), which launched an Australian presence last week, are appealing to companies that want to deliver new services without having to invest in more IT infrastructure.

"Having said that, it's still going to be a challenge to get funding for IT innovation," Gedda said. "You still have to keep IT operations running no matter what you do, and that creates a struggle to dividing funds between keeping the lights on and investing in new things.

"There's always a tenuous relationship between innovation and operations."

The Telyste analyst believes that things like machine-to-machine technology for data collection, and, in turn, big data, will be what CIOs and IT decision makers are going to look at to drive innovation within their companies.

"There are quite a lot of ways businesses can be innovative if they have access to the right data," Gedda said. "If you have a lot of field equipment out there and don't have a lot of visibility over it, you can connect that to IP or telemetry networks and get data from those field operations."

This could include locations of a mobile workforce or data from a mining operation, he said.

"With the data, you can then make better decisions on things like where energy is spent, high-maintenance issues, and so on," Gedda said.

Innovation is clearly on the minds of many large organisations. Banks in particular have been setting up innovation teams to find new ways to improve things like customer service and IT efficiency.

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