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Outlook 2012: Monetizing IT

Opinions about the top trends for the coming year are starting to trickle into my inbox. Most of these “Outlook 2012” predictions are about the certainty of economic uncertainty.

I know, however, that soon I’ll start to get pitches from vendors and analyst firms predicting which mobile device will be the next iPad; what the next big disruptive technology will be (the cloud won that honor hands down this year, with mobile devices a close second); and the one thing that CIOs can’t ignore.

For me, that one thing is monetizing IT, a trend we picked up on last year but which I believe will be a game-changer for CIOs in 2012. Technology has become so integrated with how a business runs and serves its customers that CIOs are being asked to contribute to the bottom line.

More important, they are being asked to help others in the enterprise contribute to the bottom line. CIOs are working with chief marketing officers to promote and create new services. Technology practices such as Agile are being adopted by the rest of the business to speed up product time to market and add value to the business. And CIOs are working directly with customers (external customers, not internal end users) to gauge how the business can create a better user experience.

Cutting costs, efficiency gains, business process automation — those all are givens. What CEOs want to hear about is technology that will capitalize on the enterprise’s information assets. They want CIOs to rein in Big Data to deliver new insights and make money.

We’ll also be looking at how some of the biggest stories of 2011 — consumerization of IT, mobile, social media, big data, shared services and the cloud — will continue to shake things up for CIOs in the coming years.

One more big story for 2012? IT staffing: Finding talent is proving to be pretty difficult, in part because the skill sets in demand are in constant flux, and in part because internal talent development isn’t enough of a focus within IT organizations. As one CIO said to me at a show: “What do I do with the ‘old people’ running the systems we have when we bring in all these new systems?”

Good question. What are your predictions for 2012?

Let us know what you think about this blog post; email: Christina Torode, News Director

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