What happens in the Bahamas?


I cant claim to being a fashion guru.  I hope I dress well enough but I dont know that industry from an industry perspective, fashion seems to be such a complex and multi-layered industry.

How they decide that “silver is in this year” or that “the 50s is making a comeback” is of a complete unknown to me.  But I am thinking that I should start working on that.

After all, the fashion industry is not so different from the technology industry.  Each year the IT industry decides upon its own “fashionable” IT investments.  This year we are being told that Big Data, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Cloud, among other are on the top priorities for IT decision makers this year.

Cloud was on the list last year.  BYOD has been a recent addition.  What will survive to next year, what will get dropped and what will come along new.  Should we be looking forward with anticipation?

Where do these IT fashions get decided.  It is a global phenomena.  What we get on the IT Fashion hit list in Australia comes from a global list.  Who decides this, how is it decided, and where?

The list doesn’t seem to come from the IT purchasers themselves, eg. CIOs.  They may have some influence but they don’t decide it.  Whatever the list contains, we know that the biggest technology industry players have got their marketing plans set based on the IT Fashion list.  And the IT Fashion list comes in a suitably substantiated way with the support of the major research firms.  Yes those research firms that receive some of their research funding from those biggest technology industry players.

So maybe that’s where this list comes from.  Maybe the big technology industry players and the big research firms gather, perhaps with a token top end CIO or two and they decide upon the IT Fashion list?

I think that this is what happens.  And my guess is that they do this at a lovely annual event in the Bahamas. 

Fair enough if that happens.  But lets bring it out in the open. 

Why not make an industry event from this, “The Global Technology Direction awards”.  We could have the nominees, and the winners.  We could have the life time achievement technologies, like the HP Scientific Calculator or the Relational Database.

We would all get to see what was coming, we could prepare, we could make some decisions and help our business colleagues reconcile the facts amongst the eventual hype.  How we invest in IT could be based on much more considered grounds and how well they suit our industry and business priorities.

But then maybe that would not work so well.  Cant let the purchasers think they have a choice.  Much better to have them follow the crowd, even if it is a global rent-a-crowd.

MANAGING DIRECTOR Information ProfessionalsMARK NICHOLLS

Mark is the founder of Information Professionals and Managing Director. He is one of the most trusted IT management advisors in Australia, and has managed, advised or reviewed some of the most complex IT and Change Management projects in Australia. A full outline of Mark and his Bio is available here.

What ever happened to e- ?

What ever happened to e- ? You remember don’t you?

The time when everything that had some technology element to it was referred to as e-something…. e-enabled, e-business, e-reader, e-marketing.
How time moves on. We rarely see this now. Not only the technology develops, but I suggest the terminology moves even faster. Along with the popularity of the iPhone was the i-everything but that is now not fashionable either.

I was at an Australian Institute of Company Directors event this evening. It was on Digital Strategy, the impact that technology was having on business, on competitors, on industry structure, on internal risk management and a multitude of other critical business impacts. But No, it was not about these, or at least not all of them. It covered some of this ground but not all. It covered, what used to be called e-marketing or perhaps what we could call Digital (Marketing) Strategy.

This is an important area. Social media, marketing, employee engagement, customer intelligence are all critical. But there is more to the impact of technology than this.

My fellow colleagues at the event asked two questions in particular that I enjoyed that were reflective of this bigger picture. One question was about Board capability and competence in relation to marketing, technology and the like. Another question related to competitor behaviour and business model design, and I shall add to that with own interpretation of suggesting a link to industry structure. These considerations are all crucial to forming a complete view of the digital/technology/information age related change impacts on all organisations, and indeed on the community at large.

These change impacts are happening in waves. One of the latest waves is on marketing. Not that marketing hasn’t been impacted before. It has. But now it is gaining pace and importance, and in some quarters, the Chief Marketing Officer is claimed to be a bigger technology purchaser than the Chief Information Officer.

And so now we have the Digital Strategy. The “marketers who do technology” are now getting so powerful they too can reinvent their own terms. After all the “technologists who do marketing” have been doing this for a long time.

There is a broader picture here though. There was a time in history when finance was not a skill or capability pervasive to all business people. Today you would not get far without it. This evolution is happening with technology. Eventually technology related skills and perspectives, and being able to apply these into every role and every part of the organisation will be standard practice. This remains some decades away.

But stay tuned, the changes are continuous and there are many many steps ahead, despite what we have already seen. And whatever happens, there is bound to be a new name we can call it too.

Written by: 

MANAGING DIRECTOR INFORMATION PROFESSIONALS – MARK NICHOLLS

Mark is the founder of Information Professionals and Managing Director. He is one of the most trusted IT management advisors in Australia, and has managed, advised or reviewed some of the most complex IT and Change Management projects in Australia. A full outline of Mark and his Bio is available here.