A new year brings the gift of new analysis

2021 could be the year that CIOs diverge into culture change leaders and technology delivery leadership.

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January brings the hansel of planning, prioritising, reviewing and learning. 2020, we hope, was a year like no other, but the difficulties have signposted, I believe, a pair of new horizons for business technology leaders. 

2020 demonstrated some major gaps in the technology estates of organisations in every conceivable vertical market. Enterprise cloud computing, data and collaboration strategies had not gone far or deep enough into changing business processes and technology operations, and as a result organisations discovered that far from being “agile” they were bound to a city centre building by some pretty sturdy concrete. In the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic one major enterprise cloud computing provider told me the virus will be one of the biggest drivers of cloud computing led change the market has ever witnessed - so far I see no signs that my contact was incorrect. 

2020 also accelerated a change that was taking place, as digital methods became the norm for everything from teaching your children, connecting with colleagues and even the recent Christmas party migrated to Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Throughout 2021 the ripples of change brought about by the previous year will continue to spread. The only definite of 2021, is that the pond surface of ‘normality’ has been changed forever. 

As businesses and organisations begin 2021, they will be aware that they must modernise their technology estate and business operations, in order to remain relevant in the current economic state, to respond to any future shocks, and to possibly catch up on lost ground.  For other organisations, their market landscape has changed completely in a very short space of time. In January of last year, they may have believed they had some time to prepare a move to a new set of digital services, today they are most likely to have been eclipsed by digital natives and need to respond - quickly. 

For business technology leaders, therefore, now is the time to take a long hard look at oneself and consider your strengths; review past successes, be honest about failings and outcomes that didn’t live up to expectations.  A number of studies released last year revealed organisations unsatisfied with both the delivery of technology, but also the pace of change.

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