CIO Symmetry

Oct 20 2011   8:25PM GMT

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo urges creative destruction

Wendy Schuchart Wendy Schuchart Profile: Wendy Schuchart

Creative destruction. I’ve heard that term a lot this year, although it’s hardly a new concept. From what’s happening with the Occupy Wall Street madness to the pressure to innovate in the IT space. I always have a fanciful moment where I envision a CIO swinging a sledgehammer in the server room or maybe one of those Wile E. Coyote TNT push levers that blow everything sky high. If only it were that simple.

This week, SearchCIO-Midmarket.com writers Linda Tucci and Christina Torode are reporting from the annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Fla. Gartner’s top analysts are pushing creative destruction and urging IT leaders to “re-imagine IT.” CIOs need to take a step back and embrace a little imperfection, urges Gartner analysts. That’s easier said than done. Let’s face it: CIOs tend to be incredibly detail-oriented and precise. That’s part of what makes you so good at what you do. But creative destruction really embodies the notion that sometimes things get a little messy. And that’s OK.

“Most IT organizations have 70% or more of their time, money and mind share locked into reliability, keeping things going,” said Tina Nunno, vice president and distinguished analyst. “Yet demands for game-changing IT capabilities are growing every year. IT leaders must transform their businesses, products, services and value proposition to the external customer, and challenge traditional ways of thinking.”

Our editorial director, Scot Petersen, blogged about IT innovation and creative disruption this past March. In the post, he quoted Bryan Smith, CIO of Volvo Construction Equipment North America:

“I think of the process that either individuals or businesses go through of purposefully making the decision to do something in a different way, even though it might be disrupting a comfortable way of doing things,” Smith said. “Creative disruption is necessary, because it becomes so easy to say, well, we’ve always done it this way.”

Again, it comes back to serving the business and being a profitable business center. Gartner is pushing “people-centric design” to assist and enhance user experiences.

It’s difficult to really quantify those kinds of enhancements, though, so the other side of the innovation is also in figuring out a way to really show your CEO what a great job you’re doing.  Remember how IT is perceived as being the TSA of the company? Perception is key.

So tell me, how are you putting your own spin on creative destruction? Have you been inspired by this Gartner Symposium/ITxpo call to action? Who has led by example in tearing down old systems while making the users stand up and cheer? The comments are hanging on your every word.

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