Steve Fulling was at the META Group's 2004 METAmorphosis conference this week and sent me the following report:
If there was a single conference theme it would have been "adaptive IT organizations." As Darwin put it years ago, it will not be the most intelligent nor the strongest, it will be the most adaptive. If your IT org is not adaptive, your business will not survive, period. Your IT org must be able to turn on a dime. In terms of pace of change, in the 90's each year was equal to 3-years of the 80's, and by 2006 it is expected that every year will experience the level of change seen over 15-years through the 80's and 90's. The general idea was to find ways to flourish and operate "at the edge of chaos."
The CIO and IT is rapidly becoming deeply integrated to the business, and becoming the business itself. CIO's are being given ownership of "business process" in a growing number of Fortune-500 companies. Many people are now referring to their CIO's as "Chief Innovation Officers." The lines between business and IT are blurring. It is anticipated soon public companies will begin to report TCOGS (IT expenses associated with the costs of goods sold). Every barrel of oil has $2-$3 in associated IT costs.
Web services and service oriented architectures were talked about extensively, as were standards, open systems, Linux, and extended enterprise IT computing. This is the only way IT shops will manage the level of change coming. Portfolio management and analytics were also hot topics. Business process management was discussed in detail as it relates to Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), in order to keep your CEO and CFO out of jail.
The concept of knowledge workers, and the associated IT needs were discussed as it relates to the many collaborative tools they need. Believe it or not they even discussed e-service suites as it relates to CRM and a CRM strategy. Rather than discussing the strategy like Gardner does with the customer interaction hub (CIH), they discussed it in terms of "customer data integration" (CDI), but the concept was the same. They saw CRM more as a state of mind than technology Siebel, Oracle, or Peoplesoft would install. Understanding all customer touch points will yield huge ROI's for the companies who get it, and more importantly companies that do it. All monolithic CRM packages are rapidly evolving into SOA's and components. Think of CRM as a "customer lifecycle." Business intelligence, OLAP, ETL, and data marts will be at the heart of these.
Huge needs will be placed on IT organizations in the coming years; the technology will change even faster, and all this is happening while business are coming out of a long period cost savings, into a period of aggressive revenue growth.