Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
Commentary
6/22/2009
08:55 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Citrix CEO Templeton Forecasts Consumerization Of IT

In yet another stark example of the type of fresh thinking CIOs need to embrace to overcome tomorrow's business-technology challenges, Citrix CEO Mark Templeton says IT organizations need to create self-service models to lower the cost of infrastructure and give employees more flexibility and power. He even says employees should be given the freedom to provision their own apps and services.

In yet another stark example of the type of fresh thinking CIOs need to embrace to overcome tomorrow's business-technology challenges, Citrix CEO Mark Templeton says IT organizations need to create self-service models to lower the cost of infrastructure and give employees more flexibility and power. He even says employees should be given the freedom to provision their own apps and services."IT wants to control everything, but to hold down costs you need to get rid of that and only control what you need to," Templeton said in a recent interview with the U.K.'s Computing. Pushing that idea far beyond where most CIOs have been willing to go, Templeton used the example of how banks engage with their customers over technology choices: banks don't try to tell customers what devices or operating systems or browsers to use, so why should IT departments try to lock down those decisions for their employees?

Of course, Templeton's company, whose 2008 revenue reached $1.6 billion, could stand to benefit quite nicely from such an enormous shift in IT philosophy and behavior. But he's betting that a few trends will provide strong supporting evidence for his position: the growing gap between the experience people have with technology at work (not so good and not getting much better) and in their personal lives (great and getting better); the relentless pressure on CIOs to find new and better ways to LTCOI (lower the cost of infrastructure); the rapidly growing acceptance of virtualization on a large scale rather than just in limited pockets; and, not coincidentally, a profound realization among many CIOs that the boundaries and standards of yesterday will not work in tomorrow's very different business world.

In that context, Templeton told Computing, Citrix is "looking to play an important role as IT embraces consumerization," a concept that he said requires CIOs and their teams to turn over more tactical decision-making to users within the enterprise and, again, to stop trying to control every facet of technology deployment within the organization.

Are you ready for that little revolution yet? If so, where do you draw the line between what can be turned over to self-service versus what needs to be kept under strict central governance? And if you're not willing to concede some ground to the revolutionaries, are you absolutely drop-dead certain that the CEO will back your give-no-ground stance? Isn't it worth at least evaluating some trial projects that, if nothing else, could lighten the load on your team and let them focus more on external rather than internal issues?

Before you make a call on this non-trivial matter, take a look at what Citrix is offering to support such a move via its new Dazzle self-service portal. And you might want to hurry with your research - the barbarians are at the gate, and this time around they're not ringing the doorbell.

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