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Laser-like focus on cost reduction and megatrends
I think the CEO/CFO interest in "innovation" is driven by the realization that several tsumai-sized technology waves are simultaneously hitting the beach: All Things Cloud, Big Data, and Mobile Computing. These three technology "megatrends" are all potential game-changers and have been getting huge business press, and rightly so. It's unusual to have three such transformative movements going on at the same time, each with the potential to turn existing business models upside down and create massive new opportunities at the same time. Unlike lesser tech trends, these are not incremental shifts that impact mainly IT, these are fundamental changes in the playbook. I believe CEOs/CFOs are scared and excited, and therefore engaged. The CIO has been nudged aside while the guys responsible for P/L determine their strategies. Certainly the CIO will be a prominent partner in all this, but for once the CIO doesn't have to ring the alarm bell, they are already loud and clear.