IDC FutureScape: Top CIO Decision Imperatives for 2015

The 3rd Platform disruption — cloud, mobility, big data/analytics, and social business — obliges most businesses to transform. While IT organizations have worked hard over the years to learn how to cope with changes, the current rate of acceleration and the order-of-magnitude increases in every measure of volume present the CIO with a seemingly impossible challenge. With traditional approaches, IT organizations are too slow, while business organizations need speed. LOB executives are taking charge of their destiny, and this is a time of great challenges and opportunities for CIOs, who find themselves at a crossroad. Once again, the future of the company is at stake, and the role of the CIO and future of the IT organization are also in question.

During the past year, IDC has conducted numerous benchmark studies to understand the impact of the 3rd Platform on the IT organization. What we have found striking is how two largely opposite attitudes are displayed by IT organizations. On one side, and still in the majority, are the survivors that adopt a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to innovation or changing their processes. This approach is essentially reactive and avoids any involvement until there is a proven need or until, against all warnings, a new technology is de facto introduced by an LOB. This is a dangerous attitude that could result in loss of credibility and force IT to squander resources to support solutions that were never architected or budgeted for.

On the other side, the thrivers decide to make IT more strategic and a true business partner, becoming an innovation champion. These IT organizations are proactive, not afraid to experiment and fail or to make decisions with limited experience in the technology, going beyond their comfort zone. Thrivers seem to take more risk and probably display more visible failure. However, IDC's benchmarks find that thrivers have become rapidly more mature in every dimension of the enterprise IT transformation.

IDC summarizes the following guidance for 2015 for CIOs that want to thrive rather than just survive:
- Champion innovation, and create a 3rd Platform architecture.
- Make security a senior executive concern.
- Streamline processes to provide ITaaS at the pace of business demands.
- Collaborate and educate.

IDC's top 10 decision imperatives provide the strategic context for how CIOs can adopt the four pillars of the 3rd Platform to transform their role and enterprises through the creative and innovative application of technology to business challenges.

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