Business’s Transformative Trio

How cloud computing, social media and future of mobile commerce will change the way CIOs do business

The accelerating pace of change is a given in today’s world of enterprise computing. But sometimes I wonder if we are really prepared for the dramatic business transformation coming our way. In conversations I’ve had lately with numerous CIOs, the dialogue quickly, even predictably, turns to cloud computing, social media or the future of mobile commerce.

But surprisingly, I’ve had very few conversations about how these mega-trends are actually interconnected. Earlier this year, Yankee Group surveyed business decision-makers about this confluence of mobility, cloud and social media and found that only 15 percent of companies take advantage of all three to energize the enterprise and drive greater innovation.

I believe this trio of technologies is going to change the computing landscape forever, creating an IT future that places far greater demands and expectations on the CIO’s leadership. No longer is it farfetched to think that our world will eventually enjoy unlimited bandwidth, billions of smartphones, applications from all corners of the cloud and ubiquitous social media connections. Consider just a few of today’s realities: In early March, Facebook’s weekly traffic in the United States surpassed Google’s, making it, at least temporarily, the country’s most-visited website, according to Experian Hitwise Android market share continues to accelerate, with current device shipments predicted to grow 169 percent this year, says Canalys Research. Meanwhile, cloud computing has reached the peak of the Gartner hype cycle and mobile data is growing annually at 21 percent, according to Wedbush Securities.

More than any other business executive, a CIO must understand how these trends feed off one another and how quickly they will impact his or her enterprise. As greater volumes of data go live and user expectations rise, the tolerance for latency will be nil. Any barriers to data speeding across the entire value chain will be unacceptable. This storm is only beginning to swirl because bandwidth has yet to catch up, but is there really any doubt that it will intensify? As author William Gibson famously observed more than a quarter-century ago, “The future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed.”

How is your company getting to that future? Write to me with your thoughts on this transformative trio.

Michael Friedenberg, President and CEO

mfriedenberg@cio.com

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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