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New era of IT requires new kind of leader

Adam Bender | Aug. 12, 2013
The idea of IT staff managing and controlling technology domains is pretty much gone, says Charles Araujo.

The consumerisation of IT, technology moving from the back office to the front office and greater competition for IT services have significantly changed the role of the IT department, he said. "While we were sleeping, our world changed."

The last force, driven by the rise of cloud computing and software-as-a-service providers, has been most significant, Araujo said. "There are now a whole bunch of people that are providing technology to our customers that we were the only one who could have provided it a few years ago."

Consumerisation of IT means that CIOs can no longer dictate what technology can and cannot be used in the business, Araujo said. Three years ago, many CIOs said the Apple iPad would never break into the corporate environment. But then, company executives went out and bought the tablets anyway and demanded they get attached to the corporate network, he said.

"Our customers are in complete control of everything going forward, and we're just going to have to come to terms with that," he said. "The minute that technology and limits we start putting on it, we become our own worst enemy and people start looking at how they can start getting around us."

In addition, as more and more things become connected to the Internet--a concept known as the Internet of things--the IT department will have to focus sharply on the areas that deliver strategic benefits to the business, Araujo said. "Stay out of those businesses that do not provide value."


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