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Spring Cleaning: Innovate, Validate, or Get Out of the Way!

It’s time to clean old IT tools and platforms

I overheard an enterprise CIO say this week that the Cloud reminds him of springtime! When I asked why he responded, “Because I’m feeling a need to clean out all my old IT tools and platforms.” Another colleague then said, “The past decade has been like a long IT winter—there’s a lot of cleaning to be done.”

I’m hearing similar sentiments everywhere these days—“Out with old, in with the new.” This is not a surprise. It‘s been ten years since the IT age of over-buying ended with the bubble bursting in the spring of 2000. In the past ten years venture money dried up, IT teams were slashed and outsourcing became the norm as we entered the age of the “Accounting CIO”.  It was a time when the CIO’s primary task was to triage existing projects, cut costs and maintain current positions versus leveraging new technology for competitive advantage.

In this IT springtime innovation is in full bloom, based in large part on the seeds planted over the past few years, such as the explosion of mobile devices, proliferation of rich Internet applications and widespread accessibility of utility/cloud computing.   And, it’s been driven by a new type of consumer that leverages technology (new devices and applications) as their instruments of consumption. Everywhere you look there is innovation. From the applications we are building, to the platforms that deliver them, to the devices that we deliver them on—change is in the air. It appears to be a fresh start, when innovation returns as a competitive advantage. Damn, I love the springtime!

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