Launch of Future of the CIO framework


Over the next few weeks I will be giving the keynote at the Tomorrow-Ready CIO Series organized by CIO magazine and sponsored by IBM. The events will be held over breakfast in Canberra, Perth, Sydney, Auckland and Melbourne, with an audience of CIOs and other senior IT executives. Full details on the events here.

My keynote will be on the Future of the CIO. I have recently pulled together my thinking on the topic, drawing in particular on a series of CIO workshops I ran across Europe last year.

Below is the Future of the CIO Framework that I will be sharing at the events. It is now up on my complete list of visual frameworks on

Click on the image for the full-size pdf
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The 6 capabilities that drive future business value from Staggeringly Enormous Data


I recently participated in a panel interview on SkyNews of “some of the brightest minds in business technology”, including futurist Mark Pesce, commentator Brad Howarth, and myself. It’s just come out on the web and having now been able to watch it I think it turned out to be a very interesting discussion.

To see the video click on the image below.


After covering some of the major trends of 2012 towards the end of the panel we turned out attention to what was coming in the year ahead. When asked what I thought needed to be on the business agenda, my response was Big Data, or as I more accurately described it, Staggeringly Enormous Data.
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The imperative of designing and building agility in customer service


Last week I was involved in two events for cloud-based contact centre application company IPScape, facilitating a media luncheon and hosting a customer event where I did the keynote and moderated a panel of experts.

An article in Computerworld titled Companies ‘still grappling’ with basics of customer service: IPscape reviewed some of the content at the events. The article notes:
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Moving the CIO to the heart of strategy


My recent European speaking tour was divided around equally between deep dives into crowdsourcing and where it is going, and keynotes and workshops for Chief Information Officers on shifts in the business environment and how that will shape the future of the IT function.

A key theme of the CIO workshops was their opportunity and responsibility to move to the center of strategy within their organizations.

My Transformation of Business Framework provides an overview of some of the driving forces and how they are playing out across the business landscape.

Click on the image for full-size pdf

I think it is often useful to consider what the business environment might be in say five years from now, and the characteristics of organizations that will be successful in that world.

Some of the ways we are likely to describe those successful organizations include:
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How Luxembourg is playing to become a technology hub


A few weeks ago I gave the keynote at the IT Nation Golden i Gala and Awards and earlier in the day ran a CIO workshop on Creating the Organisation of the Future.

In my brief time in Luxembourg I learned about some of the many things that are happening in the tech scene in nation. As a tiny country of half a million people, it has the highest GDP per capita in the world, currently based primarily on its strong financial services industry, facilitated by its strong banking secrecy laws. Luxembourg is the second largest funds management market in the world after the US. However an economy dependent on financial services is not necessarily the best position to be today. As such the government and business sectors are seeking to build Luxembourg into a technology hub, with ICT named by the government as the third of five pillars for national development.
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Every business document should be in the cloud and concurrently editable


I’m at the Melbourne Google Enterprise Atmosphere on Tour event, the first of 25 events around the world. I am doing the keynote on The Evolution of Business at the Melbourne and Sydney events, giving an external perspective which happens to be highly aligned with the Google vision.

The event included a Google Apps demo. Since in my organizations we have used Google Apps for several years the demo initially seemed very straightforward to me, though in fact I did see a number of features that we are not yet using that would be useful.

The demo seemed to be over-emphasizing the concurrent editing and collaboration features of Google Docs, which I think of as pretty basic. However it struck me that in fact the vast majority of organizations represented in the audience still store most of their business documents on a hard disk somewhere. The number of documents being emailed between people inside companies today is still massive.

That is crazy. Emailing documents back and forth is fraught with staggering problems, not least version control.
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Themes of the day: Consumerization of IT, Crowdsourcing for small business, Crowdsourcing in PR


These are frantically busy days, which is squeezing my ability to blog and capture some of the fascinating stuff flying by. In coming months I think I’ll try to do more ‘mini-blogging’, just capturing quick thoughts and impressions rather than writing up every interesting speaking engagement or media appearance I do.

Yesterday I gave three presentations, and I’d love to write (at least) a full blog post about what we covered for each one. However that’s not possible, so I’ll just share quick thoughts about each topic and what I will try to write more about later.

The day started by giving the keynote at a Consumerization of IT event run by CIO Magazine, supported by HP and Microsoft.
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Many sensors + Imagination = The Internet of Things


Last week I gave a keynote at the National Broadband Network – what’s in it for me? conference in Bunbury, Western Australia, a town 2 hours south of Perth, the most geographically isolated city in the world. Not surprisingly the hunger for broadband in the region is enormous – you could feel it in the room.

My keynote on The Killer Apps of Connectivity roamed through through some of the killer apps of massive broadband, including work, health, education, media, and new business models. I also spoke about ‘Everything’, in which connectivity is applied to virtually everything around us.

Image source: Application of Cloud Computing to Agriculture and Prospects in Other Fields

One of the domains that is very relevant to the South West region where the conference was held is agriculture. The image above shows the dynamics of a study sponsored by Fujitsu that used rich sensor data to improve practices and yields in rice farming in Japan, while rich sensor data has also been used in wine making, where grapes are highly sensitive to temperature and humidity differences and changes.
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Reality mining, pervasive data capture, and how Big Data can create value


On Tuesday I gave the opening keynote on The Future of Information Infrastructure at the Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium.

CIO magazine did a nice article titled IIIS: Big Data driving new trends which reviews my keynote and the one immediately after from Steve Duplessie, one of the world’s top analysts on data and storage. It says:

Speaking at the event, co-hosted by Storage Networking Industry Association A/NZ and Computerworld Australia, strategy advisor, author and futurist, Ross Dawson, said “reality mining” — the gathering of data based on the activities of people in a given environment — was a major trend to emerge out of, and contributor to, Big Data.

“If you look at an office environment there is an extraordinary amount of data to look at. For example, what gestures people are making, where are they looking, what conversations are they having, how much are they smiling when they speak to each other?” he said.

“You can literally get terabytes of data out of just a few hours of this. That data is being collected to drive productivity; to design new ways to enhance collaboration and create value inside organisations.”

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Governance as opportunity: Governance, risk, and compliance in the cloud


One of my key themes is that of governance as enabler. As I proposed in my keynote on the transformation of business at the recent AICD conference, ‘Governance should focus as much on enabling innovation and taking useful risks as about managing and mitigating risk’. Over 93% of the 600 or so company directors present agreed with me

Today I’m at the Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium, where I earlier gave the opening keynote on The Future of Information Infrastructure. Looking at governance from the perspective of information technologies is very instructive. Governance is a top priority for CIOs and IT departments, not least because there is so much that can go wrong in information management, notably from losing or exposing valuable data.

GRC is the acronym used by industry hands describe Governance, Risk, and Compliance. Compliance is becoming increasingly prominent – arguably even dominant – in technology, because government agencies are legislating on how consumer data should be protected, what information needs to be kept, the audit trails required, and even where physically data can be stored. The US SEC has sufficient expectations of companies’ data storage and retrieval capabilities to mandate hefty fines for every day taken to respond to requests for data.
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