Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Live At Impact 2011: Crossing The Consumer IT Chasm

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Impact is having its intended Impact.  And then some.

I don’t know about the rest of you who may have attended, but that was some Impact networking party here at the Venetian last night.  And how about that band??

I just hope they burned the videotape…you know, the ones they were taking of me dancing.

But the dawn soon came, and now we’re back for more from Day 3 at Impact. Katie Linendoll kicked things off today with a Kinetic-like audience participation video game.

IBM VP of WebSphere Product Management and Development Support, Beth Smith, then followed Katie with some opening remarks and a recapping of the past couple of days.

And then the chasm opened, and out walked Geoffrey Moore, business innovation thought leader and author, and also chairman of TCG advisers.

The title of his talk? “The Future of Enterprise IT, 2010-2020: From Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement.”

Sounds complicated, right? But it was quite simple. How can enterprises catch up with consumerized IT to develop “systems of engagement” for the enterprise.

His pitch posed a key question that should be considered by enterprises everywhere: How can it be I am so powerful as a consumer and so lame as an employee?”

There’s a big disconnect there.  Though systems of record (think traditional enterprise IT systems) are largely complete, we’re seeing a redefinition of IT for consumers. Moore explained we’re basically using it to digitize human culture.

Access, with low barriers to entry and exit; ubiquitous broadband; and mobile technologies combined to open the world to globalization and outsourcing.  This, in turn, opened the door to consumerized IT, but also put back office pressure on large organizations to move into a Darwinian cycle, where commoditization requires differentiation, which in turn requires specialization, which requires outsourcing…you can see the cycle.

It impacts both B2B and B2C, and has also started to upend business structures.  The old, hierarchically organized, integrated enterprise is quickly being challenged by business networks of specialized enterprises.

These new networks require more demand for communication, collaboration, coordination, and the challenge to IT is to enable us all to engage with peers globally to solve problems.  But the answers aren’t in systems of record: They’re often in peoples’ heads!

So, Moore believes, we need to invest in IT for the middle tiers of organizations — not front line workers engaged in transactional workflows, and not top execs engaged in strategic issues.

Rather, we need them for “in the moment” empowerment through systems of engagement, where those workers have broad and easy access to systems of records on demand.

Moore suggests we also need B2C systems of experience, where we have core online experiences that are compelling and utilitarian (amen!), but which will be increasingly driven to facilitate work in real time.

The answers are out there, in all those computers and databases, but they are tiny needles in massive haystacks.  There’s no time left for people, or disk drives, to be in the loop.

We must move into the era of Big Data, where those systems can help we humans find the answers or provide those value-added services that humans can provide, and fast (Think Watson, but in more of a call-center like environment, where Watson’s helping people find the answers for the human).

Systems of record create efficiency, claimed Moore, and it’s impossible to do global commerce without them.  But, his thesis suggests, they won’t be enough to meet the demands of a consumerized IT culture.

It will be the systems of engagement that create effectiveness, that will address the complexities of global business relationships, and to help create those compelling online experiences.

Every strategy, Moore concluded, is made or broken during a handful of moments of engagement?

Which ones would have the most impact for your organization, and more importantly, how quickly can you put them in place?

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