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3/14/2013
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7 Tech Trends CIOs Call Overrated

IT leaders share their opinions on "the most overrated IT movement." Do some of these buzzwords bug you?

4. Big Data Over Small Data

Ken Harris, Shaklee CIO: "I'm not convinced that big data for most companies is a promising investment right now. We haven't learned how to handle small data well, let alone throw big data on there. That isn't to say there aren't some companies for whom big data could be a game changer, but most companies don't even effectively handle small data."

Or, for another take on where big data's overrated, here's John Tonnison, Tech Data CIO: "The idea of 'big data' being a new, breakout discipline and movement. We've all been capturing, storing, mining, tuning and looking for patterns in masses of data from the moment we started to measure disk space in terabytes."

Steve Mills
Steve Mills
CIO, Rackspace
5. Consumerization Of IT

Steve Mills, Rackspace CIO: "People use technology more in their personal lives than they did a decade ago, but this feels like a consequence of Moore's Law applied over a few decades. The fact that people can now use the same tools at home and at work is a big opportunity. It's up to the IT shop to stay ahead on relevant technologies and keep updating tools and approaches to make the workplace productive and fun."

6. Cloud Computing Ease Of Use

Richard Thomas, Quintiles CIO: "The cloud is still too complicated. Anything that's as hyped as it has been is unlikely to meet expectations. The cloud has tremendous possibilities -- and I'm a huge proponent -- but we need a reality check."

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7. Tech Panaceas

Keith J. Figlioli, Premier CIO: "The IT industry tends to come up with a big, sexy term to try and get the mainstream to adopt all the things that term can solve, when it usually can't. The industry needs to walk a fine line on over-marketing IT compared with what we're actually trying to accomplish."

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Tony Kontzer
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Tony Kontzer,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/15/2013 | 5:03:19 PM
re: 7 Tech Trends CIOs Call Overrated
"The fact that people can now use the same tools at home and at work is a big opportunity. It's up to the IT shop to stay ahead on relevant technologies and keep updating tools and approaches to make the workplace productive and fun." I have to admit to being a little confused about Steve Mills' quote here--he's supposedly arguing that the consumerization of IT is overrated, yet his comment seems to argue for why it may, in fact, be UNDER-rated. Am I missing something?

Tony Kontzer
InformationWeek Contributor
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
3/15/2013 | 5:48:20 PM
re: 7 Tech Trends CIOs Call Overrated
Regarding business-technology "misalignment" and the Toyota CIO's comment: If you're not spending quality time with your company's business decision-makers and you still don't understand the company strategy, you're not doing your job. CIOs and IT managers must start spending more time getting to know their end customers. Internal IT-business "alignment" is yesterday's challenge.
Andrew Hornback
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Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/16/2013 | 4:35:40 AM
re: 7 Tech Trends CIOs Call Overrated
Rob,

I think it's more an idea of perception and communication of the IT division within an organization.

There needs to be a clarity of communication between IT and the rest of the business in order to make sure that the operations and tactics of the IT organization is getting the job that the rest of the business needs done. Who's responsible for that? It starts at the top - the CIO. If your CIO isn't getting the job done in working with the rest of the company and then passing that information down the line to the IT organization, that's a failure, pure and simple.

IT needs to be seen as a business partner, not as a cost-sink or simply a black hole within the organization. The primary player in setting this perception is the CIO.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
PT Lam
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PT Lam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/18/2013 | 1:25:50 AM
re: 7 Tech Trends CIOs Call Overrated
Ditto. I'm confused with this quote too.
PT Lam
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PT Lam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/18/2013 | 1:28:40 AM
re: 7 Tech Trends CIOs Call Overrated
Yes, it is supposedly yesterday's challenge. But the truth is that many IT shops still fail to get it done.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
3/18/2013 | 6:58:13 PM
re: 7 Tech Trends CIOs Call Overrated
Same here. Perhaps he means that it's over-hyped relative to its current impacts? If that's what he means, I can see it.

Some people trumpet BYOD and consumerization trends as the biggest thing since the microchip. Make no mistake, it's a big deal that Android, iOS and the like have encroached on the enterprise. But the fact that these devices are in the workplace isn't a revolutionary end in and of itself. The bigger story is how these devices can be harnessed to create new business processes (yes, I'm butting up against one of the other allegedly overrated trends). As far as these new processes are concerned, some areas are doing interesting things (education, health care, retail), but the progress is still fairly incipient. The hype-to-results ratio is still somewhat one-sided from this point of view, which might be what Mills was after.
- Michael Endler, IW Associate Editor
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
3/20/2013 | 9:26:29 PM
re: 7 Tech Trends CIOs Call Overrated
My read is that the idea of IT becoming less relevant because of more powerful consumer tech devices is off base. Consumer IT is more powerful, and that increases the importance of IT delivering at-work IT systems that aren't hard to use and generally terrible.
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