Friday, 20 March 2015 16:59

CIO paranoia 'healthy' says Cisco exec

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"Every CIO has a healthy paranoia," a Cisco executive told the Cisco Live conference in Melbourne this week.

During his keynote presentation at Cisco Live in Melbourne this week, senior vice president of worldwide field operations Chuck Robbins said "every CIO has a healthy paranoia."

CIOs operate in "an incredibly complex world" with an "unbelievable" pace of change, he said.

While rapid technology transitions are the norm, business transitions are even more important: most of the disruption faced by organisations comes from shifting business models, not technology changes, Robbins said.

CIOs are aware of the potential of startup companies to help their businesses, but they are losing control of IT spending as 'shadow IT' happening in line of business units accounts for a growing proportion of total IT expenditure.

And there's still a problem that in many organisations IT is still seen as a cost centre, whereas others realise that technology can be a source of strategic differentiation and disruption.

He predicted a new wave of disruption will be caused by increasing digitisation and what Cisco likes to call the 'internet of everything', which will have "ten to 20 times the impact of everything we have seen in the past."

'Fast IT' - a response to the fast innovation increasingly expected by organisations - requires the right architecture. "We've got to build the framework right the first time," because organisations can no longer do their own systems integration for each project.

The good news for people working in technology is that government and industry leaders "think IT is cool again."

"IT has never been more relevant," he concluded.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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