Last month I had the privilege to present to a packed room (apologies to those that had to stand – to paraphrase that famous film line, next year “we’re gonna need a bigger room”) at the PINK18 conference in Orlando, Florida.
The subject of the presentation was the Disruption Gap and how it is the next big threat to IT leaders.
With it being my first time presenting at a PINK conference, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go or how well attended the session would be. Would a predominantly service management-minded audience be interested in this concept we call the Disruption Gap?
Well, it turns out that the Disruption Gap is just as real and painful for IT leaders and professionals in North America as it is around the rest of the world. There was a lot of nodding, knowing looks shared between colleagues and feverish note-taking as I shared some of the key statistics to prove the existence of the growing separation between IT and the rest of the business.
I also had a number of conversations with attendees after the presentation confirming my view that the future IT leader is a technologist second, a networker and influencer first. The “people” side of IT is becoming ever-more important as communication between IT and the business breaks down.
In fact, things seem to have moved on since the last time I wrote about the Disruption Gap. Take one of our American customers, for example. Before Christmas I had the pleasure of meeting a group of stakeholders and posed to them the question of who outside IT was spending the most on technology, for example on SaaS subscriptions. The team wasn’t entirely sure, but believed they had somewhere between five and ten SaaS applications in regular use by different parts of the business.
We agreed that the team would investigate further, talk to stakeholders and come back me with an outline of which SaaS apps they were most interested in tracking as they upgraded their Snow instance (we recently launched the Snow Cloud Discovery capability, which now automatically identifies the use of 600-plus SaaS apps).
A couple of weeks ago I got the spreadsheet from my key contact at the customer. And on it was not five SaaS applications. Not ten. But 76. Yes, 76 SaaS applications in regular use by the business.
And IT thought there was between five and ten.
Now I do not relay this story as any kind of criticism of the team involved. Quite the opposite; I think they are an exceptionally-committed team working tirelessly to exercise a level of IT Governance that will safeguard their organization from all manner of risks.
But most technology decision makers across the business aren’t worried about (or even aware of) IT Governance rules and are instead simply focused on rapidly expanding the use of technology with no thought to either bringing IT into the decision or even telling them it’s happening.
I’m sure you know the saying “time and tide wait for no man”. Well, it seems that Digital Business (or call it what you will) initiatives wait for no IT team. Another proof point, if any were needed, that control can no longer be IT’s main objective; the focus must shift to influence.
This is the Disruption Gap in action. And this is the world that IT pros and their expanding base of technology decision maker stakeholders need to adjust and adapt to.
And this is why Snow is committed to helping IT and the business bridge the Disruption Gap by offering comprehensive capabilities for discovering and tracking the use of cloud-based applications.
The automatic recognition of nearly 700 SaaS applications is just the tip of the iceberg as we work with more customers to prioritize SaaS and IaaS discovery to help them identify new areas of technology spend. Work is already well underway to extend that discovery into management, as we help organizations not only identify SaaS spend, but start to control and optimize it. And it’s not just about money. Setting up new SaaS app users, changing privileges, retiring old users and cross-charging for access are all tasks that are being done manually today. Automation of these key tasks is on the way in 2018.
The Snow community will have an important role to play in helping us define and realize these new capabilities, prioritizing the SaaS application vendors that represent the greatest cost and management headaches.
With the latest figures already stating 41 percent of IT spending is outside the control of the CIO, the time to address the Disruption Gap is now.
And this is the opportunity for the IT leaders and professionals to reinvent themselves not as Business Transformation bottlenecks, but enablers and providers of valuable insight and control to technology decision makers across the organization.
To learn how to bridge the Disruption Gap and bring new value to the organization, read Snow’s guide: The Indispensable CIO