Dec 112012

Last year I wrote about the effect of turbulence on us IT folks and, more importantly, to the business/government users of IT. So has “turbulence” and its cousin “uncertainty” been reduced as we peer into 2013?

Let’s see: political direction (in the US: more or less taxes; more or less government regulation; health care; less gridlock; sequestration; Europe; regulations’; the imminent beginning of the 2014/2016 campaigns)?  Huh. Don’t see anything much resolved here.

Let’s see:  economy (Europe again; individual European states e.g., France, Greece; impact of US energy independence; consumer spending? taxes again)?  Oh, maybe a little more direction can be seen –- but not much.

Let’s see:  technology (products/services; Cloud, et al; all the piece-parts of the technology apparatus including the users stuff)? Huh. Doesn’t look like any of this will slow down, though some things seem clear like more users with things.

But overall, turbulence and uncertainty will reign again. So my prediction is pretty much the same as last year: both business and IT management will continue to emphasize back-to-basics, like the short list below:

  • Operational excellence
  • Cost reduction
  • Concern about value
  • Skill availability
  • Sourcing: out, in, re-, etc.

Back to the Future? In short,  CIOs and CTOs will be focusing on improving IT’s performance in the tried-and-true areas of IT management activities. And as I said last year, we’ll certainly continue to be overwhelmed with continuing hype about new technologies, the disappearance of the traditional IT organization and/or the CIO, and the wonders of new opportunities (read “BI”, etc.). These will be factors for some, and perhaps the means for achieving some of them will have changed for some (e.g., agile, architecture).

But for the largest group of CIOs and CTOs, 2013 will indeed be a year of focusing on traditional areas of IT’s performance. This is the sad part: Back to the Future means everyone is especially challenged to do more than pay attention to the tried and true things.

[Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …” series.]


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