What do 26 year old Box.com’s founder Aaron Levie and the future of Enterprise IT have in common? Both are radically transforming Corporate IT.
Aaron Levie is the 26 year old Founder and CEO of BOX, a SaaS company that combines traditional content management with usability of typical online sharing and collaboration software. Box.net is part of a new wave of startups that are bringing new ways of thinking into the enterprise, borrowing from Apple’s consumer playbook. Make something simple, easy to use and insanely useful, something that you would have never realized you needed, but can’t live without today. It’s a totally different way of working than most enterprise technology companies. Unlike most startup founders in Silicon Valley who focus on the consumer space, BOX's focus is on the Enterprise. The company has over 400 employees and close to 80% of the Fortune 500 companies, totalling over 100,000 clients and over 7 million users. Box is one of the fastest growing enterprise offerings to date. Here is a recent entertaining presentation that Aaron L. gave at Vatorsplash: content.bitsontherun.com/previews/Sd2va0wJ-3qUDsq9e
IT organizations are facing radical shifts in the way they create value, their ownership, structure and role over the next few years. The shifts are driven by various external trends affecting IT demand and supply. Some of the trends include the rise of the knowledge worker, ubiquitous data, social media, a tech savvy workforce and the emergence of IT-As-A-Service. The future of Enterprise IT will look vastly different than what it is today:
- Information, the new currency: Future IT budgets will place greater emphasis on business intelligence, collaboration and the customer interface. Information-based projects will steadily increase while process driven projects will decline. In order to realize full business value, IT will have to place greater emphasis on the “I” of IT - Information.
- E2E Service Delivery: Majority of the services will move away from siloed delivery methodology towards an End-To-End Service (E2E) delivery model. An end-to-end IT service packages together all the supporting people, processes, technology, and information for a related set of business processes, user activities, or customer processes. E2E Services, delivered across IT’s functional towers (storage, compute, network) will ultimately be delivered as part of business services.
- Externalized Service Delivery Options : Decisions around private cloud investment and public cloud offerings will be made. Whether IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS - public cloud adoption rates will continue to increase as some of the concerns and gaps are being addressed by the cloud vendors.
- Business Partnership: The new business leader will emerge that will take on more responsibility, in particular showing greater interest in application related projects. Applications vendors will target business leaders, accelerating their sales cycles and increasing their revenue per sale by bringing a myrad of technology offerings to the negotiating table.
- IT Roles Redefined: IT Roles will be relocated or will require new skills. Roles requiring business knowledge will become embedded in business units or multifunctional shared services and those benefits from scale will be externalized. Business unit leaders and end users will play a greater role in obtaining and managing technology for themselves where differentiation has more value than standardization. As part of the Multifunctional Shared Service Team, centrally provided applications and infrastructure will be embedded in business services. Information Architecture and CIO roles such as EA, IT Strategy, CISO, Service Manager will reside here. Externalized Service Delivery will be largely driven by vendors expanding their service offerings to the Enterprises and internal resources are becoming brokers. New roles such Cloud Integration Specialist, Technology Broker, User-Experience Specialist, Information Insight Enabler, Collaboration and Social Media Guru, Service Architect will emerge as part of the new world while roles of the CISO, Enterprise Architect, Project Manager and many more will transform. The roles of Business Analyst, Business Architect, Information Architect, IT Strategist will grow in importance to the organizations. The roles of Application Manager, Infrastructure Manager, Network Administrator, Software Developer, System Administrator, Test Manager, Software Architect will diminish in importance.
As increasingly the future of business is interdependent, real-time, social, local and mobile what do these changes mean to the future job of CIOs? In many ways, the answer is already clear: As outlined by CIO.com (www.cio.com/article/704050/Top_CIOs_Pred...&taxonomyId=3174
), future CIOs need to be Entrepreneurs, Connectors, Futurists, Global Talent Scouts and be the masters of Business Metrics. Their success in the increasingly global marketplace will also depend on critical competencies such as stakeholder management skills, influencing skills, staff management skills, technical skills, knowledge of the business units they support and Inter-cultural skills. The CIO and IT leader will be at the center of any company, working with the business executives to create revenue generating strategies and future technology directions.