Splunk’s Mann: CIOs Should Consider Bold, Disruptive Investments
… simply education. An IT leader especially tends to be literally in a glass room, in the data center. They don’t go out to conferences necessarily all the time; because they’re very busy people, they don’t get a chance to interact with peers, channel partners or vendors, but generally channel partners who have a unique relationship with the CIO. Partners have permission to introduce new ideas, even if it’s not necessarily an immediate need, or solving an immediate problem, to be able to sit down and have a conversation with a CIO about new technologies and discuss other companies that they working with, and how they have helped solve similar problems.
CF: How are partners supposed to navigate the influence of the lines of business, which are also sometimes working around the CIO? Or those who aren’t necessarily working around, but working with different agendas, or who basically feel that they can get things done faster by going rogue?
AM: So this is an interesting topic with a couple of angles. I’d say, at least initially, that rogue IT or shadow IT is something which I see as very problematic in organizations where the CIO reports up to say, the CFO or the COO. But certainly, once you have a relationship with the executive team, and you start to listen to their priorities, you’re in a better position. And shadow IT comes about typically for one of two reasons. One is that the IT leadership, or the technology leadership, is not communicating to the business what they’re doing, what their constraints are and why they are not doing certain things. For example, the IT team at some point was going to be cloud-enabling business but it was a nightmare for IT because of security and compliance and purchasing and vendor management, and maybe a bunch of other things that the business didn’t even realize their IT that leaders were doing for them. So partially, it’s about the IT leaders not communicating what their constraints are. Also, part of it is the business leaders are not communicating what their needs are to IT. So a big part of working with the business units is literally working directly with the leaders in those teams working with the head of sales, the CMO, the CFO. And in that respect, channel partners and others, providing education is incredibly valuable.
CF: The session description says you’ll be talking about some key technologies and approaches. What are some of the key technologies you’ll be discussing?
AM: Some of the technologies that I look at are really transformative, and are sort of top of mind for this transformational CIO. Cybersecurity is No. 1, depending on which day of the week it is. And in that I included a bunch of other things such as privacy, compliance, data governance and those sorts of things. And then there’s cloud computing. And when I talk about cloud computing, I mean a lot of things. Yes, the platform of cloud – so infrastructure as a service — but also the acquisition of business model. But today, increasingly, CIOs are assigned to think in terms of composable infrastructures and ephemeral systems. So cloud, containers and orchestration fit into this as well. We start at that edge cloud as well, mobile devices and sensors and IoT, connected to the cloud — super high priority. And I think No. 2 is automation and orchestration, as [they] fit in with the previous two as well. Being able to deliver software and business projects faster, and in a repeatable way, with higher visibility and higher reliability — that’s what automation orchestration does.