Technology Trend Watch
Deloitte Insights video
Each year Deloitte surveys the marketplace in search of the technology trends that will likely make the most positive impact on business performance. This year 10 trends bubbled up to inform Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2011 report. From re-emerging enablers such as “almost enterprise” applications and cyber intelligence, to disruptive deployments such as real analytics, social computing and capability clouds, each trend contributes to a telling theme: the convergence of business and information technology (IT).
Tune into this episode of Deloitte Insights to learn more about the survey and technology trends to watch.
Transcript: Technology Trend Watch
Sean O’Grady: Hello and welcome to Insights. Today, we are talking about Technology Trends in 2011 and what some see as the natural convergence between business and information technology. On the desk with us in New York to talk technology is Mark White, a Principal and Chief Technology Officer of Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Technology Practice. We also have Bill Briggs, Deputy CTO and Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us here today. We are going to talk about the 2011 Top 10 Technology Trends. We have got a graphic up here on the screen for the audience, which lists the bunches of different trends. Really, I would like to know, why are these your top 10, Mark?
Mark White: Each year we go and we survey the marketplace to look for those trends that are going to make the most positive impact on the performance of the business driven by technology in the next 12 to 24 months. Those form then, as we come down from 3 dozen to 2 dozen to 10 or 12, this year’s 10, those form our annual technology trends. We group those into two different categories. One category, the remerging enablers and we call them that because these are areas in which CIO’s and IT executives have probably already spent time and even money in the past. We believe there is something this year that is different enough that they deserve another look.
Sean: Now, I understand that some of these converge into clusters and we have a graphic to show the first cluster, and the first is the end of the death of ERP, user engagement, and Almost Enterprise Applications. Bill, why are these together?
Bill Briggs: Almost Enterprise Applications is about – the most companies have always had a lot of investments outside of central IT; think Lotus Notes, think PowerBuilder, think things that were underneath the desktop, but actually became a critical part of how business was done. It turns out that is okay if it is going to be controlled, and actually the cloud, which we will talk about in a little bit, it fuels that growth. But it is typically built across the edge, not the core of the enterprise, not integrated financials and manufacturing. It is the edge, productivity, and collaboration apps, which is interesting because it actually builds upon ERP. It does not invalidate it, it actually revitalizes it, because you need standard data and you need standard processes for those new and innovative edge disruption areas to work. We take user engagement, which is all about the idea of how do we make sure our systems that we are putting out there for our workforce is reflective of how they do their jobs. It has to be intuitive, it has to be something that is driving their day-to-day from the user down, not from the system up, and that is an important distinction. We have always built systems thinking of the technology and the data, and it is just going to work because our people are going to change the way they do their jobs. It does not actually work out that way in the real world. So how do we re-think the user that way?
Sean: Mark, your thoughts on this cluster.
Mark: I think when you look at apps that have been built in the cloud, frequently not by the CIO or the IT shot, but rather our line of business – builder-subscribed, and you add to that the idea that innovation is occurring at the edge. Not the places where I have had a lot of traditional automation or integration, but those places that have not been automated like the marketing or legal groups, or automated but not integrated like sales force CRM, human resource management. Those are places where the innovation and trends are really changing how business outcomes occur.
Sean: Now, we have got another cluster and we have got a graphic up here for the audience and that shows capability clouds, social computing, and mobility. Mark, what is going on here?
Mark: Cloud + Mobile + Social. Last two years, frankly I have been talking about working and now delivering value from cloud, and it is hard to have a technology conversation today that does not include it. So what turns out, however, as enabling and even transforming as cloud can be and adoption and deployment within the enterprise? It’s when I bring the social computing, not just the collaboration, that is what you think of first, but Transactional, Collaborative, and ultimately Analytical. So, I bring the social computing and then I add the mobility platform, the applied mobility, then what I am doing is I am putting new capabilities in new places to allow my people to make decisions and take action enabled by the cloud.
Sean: Bill, your take on this one.
Bill: We see a lot of investment happening and they are trying to do what they have always done, and do it in a new way, and mobile and social are wonderful channels for that and it engages the users in a way because it is at the point of business impact or it is truly reflecting who they know, the expertise that we found inside and outside of the organization, which is very empowering, and we are seeing that happen. This mobile veneer what they have always done drives efficiency and it drives efficacy and that is wonderful. The next step, we are just now seeing companies’ take, is how do we truly do net new business processes because of basically unleashing our dependency on being in a cubicle, being out at the point of business impact.
Mark: A story on that. I was talking with a client who was a new CIO of a city. He had come from New York and was new CIO of a non-New York City. He was there the first week and he said to his staff “I need my device to be on the network” and I said aloud “we do not do that” and his answer, which I thought was very telling was “do you expect me to get my job done sitting at my desk all day” and that is expressive I think of this intersection.
Sean: Very interesting. I see that we have also got a third trend here and this one has two elements and that is visualization and real analytics. What about this one Mark.
Mark: I get to go around the world and talk to the CIOs and IT executives on five topics, cloud; social; mobile, we just talked about that; analytics; and then cyber is the fifth. One, if not more, of those is going to be a core topic for the CIO or the IT executive. We talk about analytics, this year we want to push the boundary slightly toward Real Analytics. Real Analytics moves from the idea of just describing my business – descriptive analytics to predicting my business – predictive analytics, and once I have that in place and I have begun to prove and actually test my prediction model to actually prescribe what I should do in exception circumstances. The net result of that is I begin to truly manage the business by exception manifesting the cumulative expertise in these models. One of the enablers is that it is allowing you to make decisions in really complex data sets, very large data sets, unstructured data, complex numbers of variables, and the tools that we have always used include data visualization. That has classically, however, been a very engineering focused discipline. The oil companies, banks, and trading floors would use visualization, but it was very specialized. Today, the difference in this one is a re emerging enabler. So what is different this year? Several things. One, the data sets have become more attainable, and the tools have become more reasonable, and we have seen the re-emergence, the readmission of the trained analytical desk into the enterprise.
Sean: Bill, for time purposes, I am going to move this right into the final question, and that is one of the trends is the CIO as a revolutionary. Does the CIO really need to be a revolutionary and if so, what is driving it?
Bill: You see the picture in your head of a general on the top of a foothill with his rifle raised and charged, and it is not as much that as it is someone that is actually challenging the status quo and how we have always done things and the one that is at the vanguard to drive change and that is really, you see all of this confluence of mobility and social and cloud and it changes the nature of IT. At the same time, we see the business evolving to the point where it is almost impossible to separate the business strategy from the technology strategy anymore.
Mark: Information itself becomes a core asset just like cash as an asset or people as an asset.
Bill: So you see now the business who has been trained that sometimes IT puts the no on innovation, right? They do not even know what questions they can ask anymore. So the art of the possible is something they are struggling with. And who better than the CIO would be the one to stand up and say “here is where we could go and let me help lead you there”. So it not just being the steward of the business and responding to the requirements that are coming down. The best case you can do is manage costs and be reliable – keep the lights on. And that is the way lots of CIOs are, that is their job description. Now, they are being asked “You have to do that still”, by the way that is table sticks, where liability is a feature. Any good bridge, I want to stay up as I go across, so that is a feature. But there are also the ones actually defining where this should go next.
Sean: Mark, your final thoughts on the revolution here.
Mark: CIO is a revolutionary. As we look at the idea of where next, the CIO spent the last 10 years trying to achieve a seat at the table. That is the CIO becomes an officer helping plan and execute the strategy of the enterprise. I think for the most part, we have achieved that. Now, I believe we are at this very interesting intersection that Bill described of, economic changes, social and cultural changes, and of these technology drivers many of which we have talked about today that puts the CIO in a unique time and unique place to not only be at the table but potentially at the head of the table for certain types of decisions in the corporations.
Sean: Very interesting stuff. Gentlemen, thank you very much. We have been talking Technology Trends in 2011 with Mark White, a Principal and Chief Technology Officer of Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Technology Practice and Bill Briggs, Deputy CTO and Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP. If you would like to learn more about Mark, Bill, or any of the topics we discussed on this broadcast, you can find that information and much more on our website www.deloitte.com/insightsus
For all the good folks here in Insights, I am Sean O’Grady. We will you see next time.