Next week I will be attending one of the IT industry's largest conferences, CiscoLive! As a major partner of Cisco, EMC will have a major presence with a number of our subject matter experts in attendance. I am particularly excited about this year's event. In addition to all the changes happening in the industry, Cisco will be transitioning to a new leadership team led by Chuck Robbins. This conference has traditionally been technology heavy and a premier training and education event for IT practioner's. I'm sure this year will also have a ton of new technology announcements specifically around networking, and converged

I do think this year we will see more emphasis in the announcements on business outcomes. Every business needs to be digitally enabled to compete going forward. According to the American Enterprise Institute, 89% of the Fortune 500 companies from 1955 do not exist today. No business wants to be the next Kodak, or Blockbuster and become irrelevant in the new digital economy. EMC released a study at EMCWorld a few weeks back that identified the five imperatives most mentioned by business leaders. They are:

  • Predictively spot new opportunities
  • Deliver Personal Experiences
  • Innovate in an Agile Way
  • Operate in Real-Time
  • Demonstrate Transparency and Trust

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We then asked these business leaders for their relative importance (green thumbs) and two of these imperatives rose to the top. First, spotting new opportunities and doing that predictively requires new analytic's capabilities. The second is innovating in agile ways across the entire business, which requires IT to be developing new software written and deployed continuously. When we asked the same business leaders about their IT's state of readiness (red thumbs) you can see many did not feel their IT organizations were ready to meet these challenges. These requirements are coming from the business, but IT needs to lead these initiatives. The measurement of success for IT has changed from improving an organizations efficiency to leading the success of these new business imperatives.

To be successful IT will certainly rely on new technologies. Successful companies such as General Electric and Amazon are focused on building mobile, Big Data, and social applications. These applications rely on new development paradigms such as Agile, and new application development platforms like Rails, Node.JS with application platforms such as CloudFoundry. These applications will be run on cloud infrastructures. Over 90% of all net new applications developed since the beginning of 2014 were built for cloud delivery. Clearly many IT organizations will need new skillsets and knowledge of these new technologies.

CiscoLive! is one of the major industry conferences where new technologies are introduced and IT practioner's can meet with subject matter experts. This is a great opportunity for practioner's to update their skills and prepare for new roles that IT will need. I expect to see more new technologies delivered in as a service and appliances form factors this year. IT needs to be able to quickly lead the development of new products and services to meet these new business imperatives.

To hear more about the future of IT organizations please plan to attend Rebecca Jacoby's keynote session on Wednesday where she will be talking with a panel of IT leaders including EMC Global CTO, John Roese about the future IT organization. To watch via webcast more information is available here. In addition to the keynote, John will be meeting with the EMCElect, and CiscoChampions at the EMC booth on Wednesday afternoon at 3pm. More information on the meet up is available on EMC community network here along with a complete list of EMC activities at CsicoLive! here.