A look back at the recent CIO dinner at Rhodes 24, London
With majestic views across the London skyline from the 24th floor of Tower 42 in the heart of the City, CBR – in association with Ricoh – assembled a group of senior IT decision-makers to discuss a topic high on their agendas: how to increase IT visibility.
Opening the proceedings was Rob Bamforth, principal analyst at research house Quocirca. Bamforth began with a bullish statement: "Without good IT visibility, it’s going to become increasingly impossible for the CIO and other senior IT decision-makers to retain their importance, because it will be increasingly hard for them to demonstrate just what IT brings to the organisation."
"IT has plenty of visibility when something goes wrong," Bamforth noted, "but does it have visibility when things are going right?"
After the fabulous meal, it was the turn of John Chambers, business development director at Ricoh UK, to offer some thoughts on IT visibility. After an introduction to Ricoh IT Services – few people know the firm has annual turnover of $26bn and a depth of IT technical services and solutions – Chambers went on to talk about some of the drivers that he sees making IT visibility a challenge in so many organisations.
He added that the consumerisation of IT and BYOD [bring your own device], "Can cause big headaches, because if you try and stop people bringing in their preferred devices they are likely to simply go around IT anyway."
The next big issue for IT today, as Chambers sees it, is Big Data. "But the challenge is making sense of that data and getting insight from it," he said. The final big change that Chambers identified is changing usage models, for example cloud computing.
Chambers said Ricoh works with partner HP’s IT Performance Suite, using that to help clients define IT metrics. Working with existing customers it’s already found 170 metrics that the business is interested in knowing from IT, from customer satisfaction to server downtime. It helps organisations collate these into KPIs that can then be cascaded throughout the IT department.
"Visibility is important so that IT can not only demonstrate value back to the Business but also so that it can perform better in terms of driving innovation, improved agility and controlling cost," he said. "An IT Executive Scorecard should objectively summarise performance across these Enterprise IT dimensions to ensure it is truly business driven."
The short talks from Bamforth and Chambers generated a robust discussion during the Q&A session. As well as having a superb meal thanks to Gary Rhodes and his team, and an excellent opportunity to network, the general consensus seemed to be that the latest IT trends have made getting control of IT visibility more important than ever.
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