We've all heard the phrase "consumerization of IT" so often that it's almost become a cliché. But even though the phrase has become a cliché, the trend itself is still important and relevant to CIOs.
People are people first, and they are employees second. When they come to work, they expect their technology to work like it works in their homes or in their cars. They also expect to be treated the way they are treated in other commercial establishments - as customers with economic value.
In a recent conversation, Frank Slootman, the CEO of ServiceNow, reminded me that CIOs can play key roles in improving and elevating the work environment at their companies. As many of you already know, ServiceNow is the enterprise IT cloud company that transforms IT by automating and managing IT service relationships across the global enterprise by creating a single system of record, standardizing processes and consolidating legacy systems.
"The enterprise needs to catch up with the consumer service experience," says Frank. "When we go home at night, we're dealing with Amazon, Google and other online sites providing world-class service. We bring those expectations from home to work, and we expect our service experience in the workplace to match our service experience at home."
But when employees experience problems with technology and they have to wait in a phone queue or physically stand on line to have their devices checked, that's when IT gets a bad rap. "The enterprise service experience needs to improve, and the CIO should provide the tools to make it happen," says Frank.
IT has become the backbone for almost every business process, which means that every stakeholder is impacted by the quality of IT service. Great CIOs make sure that service quality remains high, even when IT is under pressure to reduce costs. "Some CIOs are so focused with controlling costs that they don't see the harm they're doing by allowing service quality decline. But it's almost always a mistake that comes back to haunt you."
Frank sees a giant opportunity for IT to deliver real value to the enterprise by mastering the processes and technologies required to manage data from the Internet of Things. "The Internet of Things will be huge. Every device - from medical scanners to cars to printers to refrigerators - will have an IP address and will be managed through the IT backbone. When everything is programmable and connected, the standard notions of IT management will evolve greatly," says Frank.
I really appreciate Frank's candor and vision. He outlines a brilliant future for CIOs who are willing to embrace the realities of the modern service culture and bring it into the 21st century global enterprise.