CIO as dinosaur

From Baseline/CIO Insight, a report on emerging technologies; specifically, a survey of CIOs of what technologies that they’re actually using. Some results that I find to show the incredible short-sightedness of many corporate CIOs is the percentage who find the following technologies “of no interest/not on the radar”:

  • SaaS, 32%. How could this number of CIOs possibly have no interest in SaaS? Only one answer comes to mind: empire building.
  • SOA, 30%. The percentage of CIOs who prefer to remain mired in legacy linguine.
  • AJAX, 46% and RSS, 38%. How to they plan to deliver information, both interactively and via publication, in the future? This isn’t just an externally-facing issue; in large organizations, these technologies are equally important for serving it up to internal users.
  • Social networking, including tagging, 51%. Although other things were mentioned in this category, I see tagging as the key contributor to a corporate environment here. How long will it be before all ECM systems have tagging as a standard feature? When will CIOs stop characterizing this as “allowing the lunatics to run the asylum” and just put the right categorization tools in the hands of their users?
  • Wikis, 46%. Okay, I get why a lot of companies are still uncomfortable with blogs. But wikis for collaboration make a lot more sense than clogging up everyone’s email with multiple out-of-date copies of a Word file that everyone is trying to update at the same time. It’s only a matter of time before Microsoft adds wiki capabilities to SharePoint (if they haven’t already), at which time everyone will be using wikis below the CIO’s radar. David Berlind posted yesterday about how many IT leaders have never even heard of wikis, which is likely where the “not on the radar” is really coming from.

There are a lot of other equally shocking stats about just how far behind corporate CIOs are in their thinking. Many of my clients are large financial institutions, so I suppose that I shouldn’t be that shocked: if I polled them directly about these same issues, I’d likely get similar results. Unfortunately, that doesn’t give me much hope that these organizations are going to become a lot more efficient or offer better services to their customers any time soon.

On the BPM front, only 21% show as “deployed”, 19% “testing/piloting”, 27% “evaluating/tracking” and 32% “no interest/not on the radar”.

Update: I just saw this post on why AJAX and RSS matter for in-house user interfaces, particularly for BPM.

Update: Robert Scoble reports that wikis will, indeed, be in Sharepoint 2007. The meteor has landed, you guys can all just head for the tar pits.

6 thoughts on “CIO as dinosaur”

  1. I was listening to a podcast yesterday (maybe TWiT, can’t recall) that was discussing how the role of the CIO was going to go away eventually. I wrote it off as wishful thinking until I saw this survey this morning.

  2. I’m not surprised or shocked at all.

    When we spend a lot of time in the blogosphere, it’s easy to convince ourselves that technology markets are a lot more advanced than they really are.

    In the real world, enterprise use of social software and Web 2.0-like elements are still in the very very early market stages of their development. Well before Geoffrey Moore’s chasm…

  3. Sandy,
    From a BPM perspective, not too discouraging. Ranking the no interest/not on radar category:
    SOA 30%
    BPM 32%
    SaaS 32%
    RSS 36%
    Ajax 46%
    Wikis 46%
    Social networking 51%
    Maybe BPM is no longer cool but not dead yet!

  4. Neil, I realize that I’ve been drinking mighty draughts of the Kool-Aid and therefore have a skewed view of things, but the numbers that I quoted were for the percentage that had no interest at all in those technologies. I could understand if that shifted towards the “we’re looking at it and might implement it some day far in the future”, but to say that they have absolutely no interest in this set of emerging technologies seems particularly short-sighted.

  5. Bruce, good comment to put BPM in perspective, although arguably BPM has been around longer than any of the others so deserves to have a bit of an edge. Having 40% either in production or in the process of putting a BPM system in is a pretty good number.

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