ICT needs to change

I’m Pete, another member of our recently formed Enterprise Architect team. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend the November Gartner Symposium in Cannes for the last 10, possibly 11 years. Every year, I say “this will be my last symposium”. This has been my last symposium!

This entry breaks the pattern of previous blogs on this site  … breaking form seems to be my role in life. I find these Gartner events incredibly stimulating and thought provoking: I anticipate them for months beforehand and I make use of them to inform my strategic thinking for the next 12 months … and co-incidentally bore my colleagues to death with my perpetual mantras. This year has been no exception: for the last 6 months alongside the development of our Enterprise Architecture Programme and Future State Architecture, we’ve been attempting to jump start innovation in the organisation. We’ve looked variously at: cutting email and exponential growth in unmanaged document storage and copies; easing the change to mobile and flexible working by providing unified communication tools; working more closely with trusted partners by sharing devices and networks and  providing a simple secure email and data exchange service with small providers and individuals; allowing knowledge workers to  use of personal devices for work …..

At each turn, Operational ICT  groups in most organisations defend by moving rapidly to Command & Control mode, arming ICT policemen to protect the business from itself. We are no different … and I’ve played my part in it! My biggest learning experience and revelation at the 2008 Symposium has been the crystallisation of these ideas in presentations by Steve Prentice, Monica Basso, Ken McGee, David Furlonger and John Mahoney: for me, they’re all recognising  & promoting the same future state:

  • Consumerisation of ICT makes users unwilling to accept policing by ICT & blocking of the innovation which will add value to their business
  • Digital Natives dominate by 2018 and they won’t accept corporate ICT and its limitations & controlling approach

ICT needs to change:

  • ICT’s new role is to advise the business how new technologies can be adopted securely, and to educate about the business risks – its a business decision to determine whether those risks are then acceptable or not
  • Future ICT will focus on core strengths and core systems; knowledge workers and Digital Natives will provide their own productivity tools
  • A substantial proportion of Users, whether Digital natives and / or Knowledge will provision, support and use their own ICT productivity ICT tools and devices without central ICT – ICT’s role is to make this feasible while keeping the core secure

Gartner have made the Keynote sessions available on their website: you can view the webcast at:

http://www.gartner.com/it/sym/2008/esc20/keynotes.jsp. I particularly recommend the sections by Steve Prenctice and Andy Kyte.

No-one believes that these events are hard work – I’ll admit its an extremely attractive venue, Paris is only 5 hours away by TGV [why can’t the UK get its act together?] and there is a little time to enjoy!



About Pete Morton
Enterprise Architect

2 Responses to ICT needs to change

  1. carlhaggerty says:

    Great post Pete, The whole consumerisation of ICT is close to my heart with the work i am doing around social media and social networking.

    I am going to try and write a series of posts about how social media can help transform organisations and communities and hopefully bridging the gap between the two.

    The “stuff” you talk about with regard ICT needing to change is reflected at an organisational level as well.

    I believe that we fundamentally need a culture shift otherwise we will become a strategic barrier to change and not an enabler of it.

    Keep up your posts, waiting to read more insights


  2. Pete Morton says:

    Thanks for this Carl … I thought [and hoped] you’d relate to it! I agree absolutely about the culture shift … and we collectively ARE currently a strategic barrier rather than an enabler – this might have been right 10 years ago, but is a poor fit today.


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