CIO Symmetry

May 21 2009   6:04PM GMT

What IT executives are talking about at Forrester’s IT Forum 2009

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

My first day at Forrester’s IT Forum was filled with everything today’s CIO should be aware of — the changing role of IT, the need for constant innovation and the rapidly evolving workforce. By day four, attendees are still buzzing about what they’ve seen and heard while here.

Six Sigma process implementation has been mentioned a lot, especially together with Lean IT. Other trends in discussions have included how IT is changing, the introduction of millennials into the workforce, cloud computing, offshoring and Twitter.

I can’t say I’m too surprised by these points peppering almost every conversation — except for the latter. It seems every conversation I’ve had, regardless of who it’s with, has turned to Twitter at some point. CIOs, IT directors, performance managers, operational directors, analysts — everyone is talking about Twitter. But not many are actually using it. They’re just interested in it.

The event Twitter feed was, however, actively used by many event attendees. Examples of tweets include:

@jlnorwood: #FITF09 Forrester IT Forum day 2 mandate is clear: Embrace Millennial thinking, Web 2.0 tools; simplify; innovate or die.

@jkloren: Andrew Bartels: Future = smart computing + [software solutions to] optimize business results –> thru borderless collab, KM, CRM,etc #fitf09

@MatthewEGreen: Amazing – web 2 and social networking is in every presentation and questioning session yet they still call it fluff #fitf09

(For more on what is being discussed, check out Twitter. You can also follow the SearchCIO-Midmarket.com feed.)

A big emphasis has also been put on how IT executives should be adapting to stay relevant as the role of IT changes. Embracing innovation, especially in the downturn, was cited in this regard — not just to improve what’s already available in IT, but also changing it to fit the changing needs of customers. Tom Peck, CIO of Levi Strauss, expressed the importance of looking outside the box with innovation when he quoted Henry Ford: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

And of course, offshoring has been a big topic — where to go, geopolitical risks, exploring the benefits of China vs. India and how to make your outsourced partner fit into your company culture.

Up next: Cloud computing, which everyone is hungry for more information on.

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