Why CIOs Must Transform to the Service Defined Enterprise (SDE)

The key to a CIO’s success in the near future will be transforming any business from a ‘technology-defined enterprise’, into a ‘service defined enterprise’ (SDE).

SDEs will have less focus on what IT systems they own and operate, and pay far more attention to which IT services they can access, and the speed at which these services can meet overriding business objectives.

Most organizations today remain ‘technology defined’ – being only as agile as the technology and application platforms they have chosen in years past. In the SDE future, the transformation in technologies, operational and consumption models will drive new levels of agility.

At a recent EMEA analysts briefing, Logicalis Group CTO, Chris Gabriel, outlined his view of the nature of the wave of disruptive innovation which Logicalis anticipates, and why the company is focusing on the age of the SDE.

As Logicalis sees it, becoming an SDE is a massive driver for growth beyond the current trends centred on cloud, analytics, networking, mobility, and managed services.

Gabriel said the expectation of IT experience has changed dramatically over the last five years with the paradox that consumers expect IT to be easier and simpler, while the back ends are increasingly complex and challenging.

“Remember , the iPad is only four years old - but consumers now expect IT to be simple, engaging, giving them access anything, any time, night or day. Everybody is IT literate,” he said. “The expectation is that IT must be much simpler than it’s ever been, but the back end is ever more complicated, relating to technology and regulation.”

Recent innovations such as the Software Defined Network (SDN) mean enterprises can have intelligent networks that can make millions of decisions, that can be driven by applications that can be flown by wire from the service provider, so the underlying technology is ever more complex.

Gabriel said the SDE future requires a fundamental change in the CIO’s role.

“As IT strives to move itself from operator to innovator, actually they (CIOs) have to change what they do, not at an efficiency layer; it’s not about driving efficiency to move the needle towards more innovation, it is fundamentally changing how they see their role,” he said, “How they see what they do and how they deliver it to their businesses.”

The Logicalis Group CTO cited the example of a CIO of a petrol company whose world has been transformed, with petrol stations now like small supermarkets or shopping malls, providing groceries, magazines and many other products.

“The fuel industry CIO, on top of his traditional responsibilities, is now expected to deliver a high end retail experience, whether it is developing an app so his customers can find the petrol station, or having an online store so customers can decide what to buy before they arrive, or having wifi available,” he said.

“A petrol station is also a highly engineered set of machinery, of fuel tanks and pumps, LAN security. In the UK, when you drive up every petrol station now probably knows who you are through the ANPR automatic number plate recognition system.”

Even with all this technology, in the UK alone each year, more than 150,000 people annually put the wrong fuel in their cars, which costs an average of 3,500 pounds (US$5,796.00) to fix the car if it drives off.

Such data can be sold to add value to insurance companies. Logicalis also does a lot of work in Germany with a fuel storage vendor for fuel stations, so the vendor can do ‘just in time refuelling’ which saves petrol station and transport costs because they can route the trucks to the right petrol station to fill its tanks at the right time.

“So this fuel industry CIO is now sitting in a combined experience world and an operations world where the application of the internet has become very exciting,” Gabriel said. “IT brings all this together and that’s now the CIO’s job. CIOs can’t do all this themselves, they must rely on the marketplace and partners like Logicalis.”

Gabriel told the analysts: “We see the pace of change, we see the opportunity for innovation, new services and solutions coming from lots of different places. The world isn’t going to slow down for the CIO, it’s only going to go faster, and we have to provide CIOs with some mechanisms and some strategies, not just to cope with this change, but to manage and exploit it.”

To find out more about the importance of SDE to the CIO read our whitepaper.

Tags big data, CIO, CIO Leadership, Cloud, IT, analytics, service defined enterprise, managed services, mobility, networking, SDE


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