CXO

Naked CIO: Where's the innovation in IT?

Considering that IT is an industry built on innovation, why is it in such short supply right now?

Years ago I sat in a bar in London with a trusted colleague. We had recently attended a talk on some current IT matter and after a drink or two I began pontificating about how boring and tame the session was.

It wasn't just that one session either, but a bigger problem with our industry: 'information' was not informative at all and provocative thought did not exist. Opinions meant nothing since everyone tried so hard not to offend anyone and thus no one brought new ideas or suggestions to the table.

That conversation as well as my disdain for the lack of thought leadership within the C-Level brains in our industry lead to the original Naked CIO columns.

Over four years I had the pleasure to write many articles that I felt challenged conventional wisdom and inspired debate. But in 2011 I wrote my last article: I had thought I had lost that edge and the passion that I had on particular subjects that made the column what it was.

Well that changed two weeks ago. I attended a session on cloud services and security. I found the talk so myopic and clichéd that paradoxically I felt once again truly inspired. Why do we as IT professionals have to sit around a continually listen to rhetoric that does nothing to change our world but rather is focused on selling us yesterday's news - and packaging it like it is a revelation?

Our trade organizations, our conferences, our industry symposiums need to do more than just regurgitate old material. I am mortified that IT - the pinnacle of innovation in today's society - is so lacking in creative and forward thinking ideas that I have to sit in these sessions and consistently question while I am there.

I twiddle with my Blackberry (somewhat ironic I know - I guess by having a Blackberry I myself still have room to innovate beyond my current comfort zone) in order to combat the overwhelming onslaught of boredom and nausea. Why we can't be more bold, more raw and offer more as an industry than this relentless blabber I have to endure at the events with so called industry experts?

I could no longer sit on the sidelines and watch. I connected to my technology friends at ZDNet and TechRepublic and expressed my desire to once again challenge the lethargy that infects our business and to push new debate. I was the Naked CIO, I still am, and now I am back.

If you ever did read my columns you may have hated some of my ideas but opinion and constructive dialogue is what drives us to think differently and what drove me to start this column then - and again now.

The Naked CIO is an anonymous technology executive.

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