"We are at the IT moment of truth," proclaimed Gartner's Mark Raskino, vice president specializing in emerging business technology mega trends. Speaking today at the Gartner Symposium/ITExpo in San Francisco, Raskino said that in 2005 recovering demand for IT has intersected with waning economic confidence and slowing GDP growth. That means a window of opportunity has opened up for IT organizations with "discretionary" funds from modest budget increases and improved IT cost management.
The question is which projects should you pick? "We got lots of technology, so the total number of ways IT can improve the business is huge; with careful precision, pick one out that will make your business fly," advised Raskino.
Along with distinguised colleagues, Andy Kyte and Jorge Lopez, Raskino gave attendees a look forward at how IT will reshape companies and industries. According to the Gartner analysts, there's a wide assortment of major forces that will have the potential to disrupt markets and create new opportunities. Here are four of them:
- Global micro business: large numbers of low income individuals are set to become "consumers" in emerging economies. Each year, India adds a whopping 20-30 million consumers enabled by mobile handsets.
- Green field business: as the business application technologies of the Internet era mature and integrate and far more effective business operating models become possible. (i.e. JetBlue, FreshDirect, ING Direct, Salesforce.com).
- Proactive transparency technology: foisting transparency on companies faster than most management cultures can adjust.
- Design innovation: Combining aesthetic design with IT will be a major source of customer value and market disruption over the coming decade—as the Apple iPod example has demonstrated.
Another major takeaway for IT leaders is that they’ll need to be ready for the demands of an advanced generation of customers, aka HomoiPodi, who—"raised on PlaySation, weaned on iPods and socialized via instant and text messaging"--are perfectly at home with the Web, e-mail, and mobile technology. This new breed of executive will not understand the long implementation and delivery cycles imposed by IT legacy architectures. Gartner recommends that you reach out and target key business management segments and befriend, inform, and partner with them so that they are realistic about what you can achieve together.