There’s a sense of profound change in the air in the large companies I speak to these days. The rapidly changing consumer technology world, along with a huge helping hand from the Web, is fundamentally changing how business gets done.
Most of us have either witnessed this or have read it the press. We see this change all around us in the highly innovative new mobile devices and their ecosystems upending the world of personal computing. For its part, the cloud is rapidly becoming the way we deliver and receive virtually every meaningful service today, from music, TV, applications, news, phone calls, social media, etc. Even our data centers are beginning to move out of our organizations. This year I hear story after story from large company CIOs partially — or even in some cases almost completely, moving their IT outside the firewall, something almost unthinkable even a year or two ago. If these changes were all that was happening it would be a major challenge for any organization.
Compounding the mobile and cloud story is the consumerization of information technology — another one of the major drivers of change today — and something I’m calling CoIT for short. The world of CoIT is moving and innovating far faster than the business technology world. Along the way, it’s been making highly sophisticated and powerful technologies extremely easy to obtain and use, while also dramatically changing the buy side economics of technology with advances such as app stores and software as a service. Right behind this is the big data movement, which is making sense of and creating real value out of the deepening streams of information pouring forth from our applications, devices, and connected social ecosystems. While big data is the least developed of these changes, all of these represent major global trends.
Taking all these together, we have a closely grouped set of serial disruptions of the technology world and associated business landscape that are happening almost at the same time. As a number of my readers have pointed out, these trends are also intertwined and co-related. However, it is the social media revolution that may go down as the biggest revolution of all of these, and as applied to our organizations, is often called social business. Transformative social technologies in the form of public social networks like Facebook and Twitter, or the rapidly emerging platforms of Social CRM (soon to be a $1 billion new industry), and the steady proliferation of social collaboration in the enterprise, are all just data points of a larger social megatrend.