Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 3, 2013

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While CIOs may disagree on the details, Randy Mott, CIO everyone agrees the role of the CIO is ripe for of GM, says CIOs further change from new IT developments. One need to keep important trend, industry watchers say, is the asking questions so-called Internet of Things, in which physical about IT. "What objects are equipped with embedded sensors if we did this? that use the Internet to communicate their status How would to applications on central servers. For example, that change an a highway system could collect information on outcome for the traffic jams, then communicate that information business?" to the drivers of individual cars, helping them to find alternate routes. Or a factory line could send an alert whenever supplies of a certain part are running out. The "Ten IT-Enabled Business Trends" report from McKinsey sums up the trend nicely, stating: "The linking of physical objects with embedded sensors is being exploited at a breakneck pace, simultaneously creating massive network effects and opportunities." Chui of McKinsey's Global Institute is especially excited about self-driving automobiles, which he calls "cars in the cloud." Selfdriving cars could help stem accidents on the road and shorten commuting times. And some industry analysts say self-driving cars represent a $200 billion opportunity both for companies that create the storage hardware involved in propelling the cars and those that license the software to automakers. These concepts, Chui says, "offer tremendous headroom across the entire business for being enabled by IT in transforming the way business provides value to [its] customers." IT sensors can also help "farm-to-fork" business processes, says Kumar at Tech Mahindra. His company is working with a CIO in the food industry who wants to add sensors to shipping containers filled with perishable goods so that their journeys across the globe can be followed. The sensors will report temperature and humidity inside the containers back to a tracking system responsible for the overall quality of goods. An alarm goes off whenever quality dips below par; then the container in question can be pulled. "This is a real preventive, machine-to-machine solution that provides value to the business," Kumar says. What's next? In banking, Bassani envisions giving customers a mobile application that will ping their smartphones (provided they are enrolled in mobile banking) when they are in certain locations to give them restaurant and other recommendations as well as special discounts, as they travel around towns and cities. "That's leveraging the Internet of Things as a value proposition for the business," he says. Similarly, TCS has developed a rural service delivery platform it calls mKRISHI® to cater to the unique needs of farmers. A mobile application on farmers' phones pushes information between the mobile application and an expert's Web console, and it can be customized according to the farmer's regional language. The platform integrates multiple technologies to empower farmers with vital audio and video information based on their specific needs, such as providing updates on weather, As the role of IT changes, so too do its characteristics. fertilizers and pest control. Farmers benefit from the convergence of these technologies, FROM SERVICE …TO BUSINESS …TO STRATEGIC …TO IT-BUSINESS PROVIDER… ENABLER… PARTNER… PARTNERSHIP along with the personalization and scalability that the platform provides. Service the Supply the Collaborate Hybrid business and MISSION: At GM, CIO Mott believes there is so business; business; IT with the technology roles; much untapped technology available, only IT as a cost as a service business technology innovation center provider and value driver a CIO's vivid imagination can make it work for the business. "Some of these things, Combination of Consultative Shared/joint RELATIONSHIP Transactional like sensors, are not really new," he says. transactional ownership and BETWEEN "They're simply being imagined by people and consultative accountability IT AND THE who are thinking, 'Hey, this can provide a BUSINESS: safer environment for our customers, or add IT functional Combination of IT aligned to IT-business matrix ALIGNMENT an extra layer of convenience or comfort, or or technical IT processes and business unit, around differentiated WITH THE provide technical help that could mitigate alignment business-unit business strategic capabilities BUSINESS: a problem in a system.'" process alignment process or processes That illustrates how important it is for Technical and Process Solution and Domain, front office, RESOURCE CIOs to keep asking questions, Mott says, expertise relationship information expertise MANAGEMENT back-office adding: "What if we did this? How would expertise expertise PRIORITIES: that change an outcome for the business? It's that kind of ability to imagine that CIOs Fixed, annual Fixed, annual Fixed, marketFlexible, marketBUDGETING IT budget IT budget and based funding based funding & FUNDING: and IT organizations need to unlock." I The Changing Mission of IT charge-back DATA: Booz & Co., "The Death of Traditional IT and the Rise of the New Partnership Model," 2013 LARRY LANGE is a freelance writer and a former Senior Editor at TechWeb, PlanetIT.com, EE Times and IEEE Spectrum. 2013 • SMART ENTERPRISE 17

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