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How IT Can Reclaim Social Relevance
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Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/1/2012 | 2:26:24 AM
re: How IT Can Reclaim Social Relevance
I think where the CIO and the IT department can and should continue to provide value is in the areas of integration and security. I've spoken with people who say BYOT is all great until nothing connects anymore. As you say, IT must be a central figure, ensuring that the organization benefits from all of the efficiencies and business intelligence that comes from effectively integrated systems. The other area in which the IT department and CIO need to play a key role no matter where the technology is coming from is security.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
Dion Hinchcliffe
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Dion Hinchcliffe,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/30/2012 | 3:32:28 PM
re: How IT Can Reclaim Social Relevance
Your last sentence captures it perfectly. IT will remain an overhead line item in an infrastructure focused delivery approach. In contrast, creating value in a business and innovation-oriented model provides much needed strategic leverage of technology by the organization. Getting there, however, will be hard for those mostly doing the former (and likely not much of the latter.) I'll explore the options on what to do soon.
Dion Hinchcliffe
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Dion Hinchcliffe,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/29/2012 | 7:06:27 PM
re: How IT Can Reclaim Social Relevance
Solid points, though I would say the social apps are just the beginning of social business. We see clearly that organizations are transforming customer care (SAP, Intuit, Dell, Time Warner Cable), product development (too numerous to mention), supply chain management (Teva, Nike) , and workforce collaboration (BASF, News Corp, Alcatel-Lucent) by strategically applying social as a line-of-business activity, not just merely deploying social software in hopes something good happens.

As for BYOD, I only brought that up because it's a direct onramp for many viral social tools. It should really be called BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) but that idea is not as well known yet. Thanks for the insight though, I think your comments are largely on the mark.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
5/29/2012 | 6:13:12 PM
re: How IT Can Reclaim Social Relevance
An interesting perspective on the CIO role. I agree with some of the major points but less on the reasoning that supports them. Social applications (FB, Twitter, PhotoSharing, DropBox,...) are little more than what the business world label collaboration software. The difference being they are far more user friendly than Sharepoint, company based Chat applications, ... and some contain or support things to entertain us. Among the companies recognizing this and now taking steps to reign it back in due to its inherent lack of security consideration is IBM. The part which will probably not endear me to some readers is my opinion on the CIO who must take responsibility for the criticisms the author of the article cited. Companies seem to hire CIOs based on one of two types the technician that came up through and understands IT or the MBA who knows business financing but struggles to even spell technology. Focusing too much on one of these over the other has produced the effects identified. Perhaps its a hiring process failure.

I disagree instead on the BYOD proposal which I believe has little to do with social IT. I believe it was born as much by business wanting to reduce costs (previously supplying minimal supplies) and the employee wanting to be productive to meet quotas and as such preferring to use their own materials generally of higher quality and with the benefit of permitting them to maintain their social network activities on business time (yes, BYOD is as much a distraction as a benefit to the business). If the CIO does not become equal parts technical expert and business savvy, then business should eliminate the high cost fluff and turn it over to the CFO or COO.


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