Interesting perspectives and forecasts of the future to round out an outstanding ISACA World Congress experience. The final wrap-up covered two keynote sessions.
The first was a panel session featuring researchers and analysts such as McKinsey and Forrester, plus two ‘unusual suspects’. David Foote, a former Gartner and META researcher who currently heads his own firm, plus Tony Hayes, Associate Director-General (Regional Service Delivery Operations) with the Queensland Department of Communities.
Hayes becomes a ‘usual suspect’ when you know that he is also International Vice President at ISACA.
The recession we had to have
Foote asserted that the recession was a good thing for the IT industry. In his view there are many IT organizations that are not agile or responsive to business needs. Hard to disagree, you can see that over and over.
The major flaw that I see with Foote’s idea is that we would first need to get rid of the incumbent CIO. As he correctly pointed out this is situation results from a failure of leadership by the CIO. Normally it will have been the lower level staff who suffered most from retrenchments.
Some of you will be pleased to hear that Analysts and Architects will be in big demand in the next wave of technology change. But the biggest winners will be a new form of “Hybrids”. These are people who have subject matter expertise in the business and who also understand IT.
One rather scary scenario proposed by Glenn O’Donnell from Forrester. Especially scary as I suspect he is correct in describing the situation and that too many people will follow his advice.
His assertion was that our technology systems have become too complex for people to understand and operate correctly. HIs solution, he want to automate more. Admittedly he claimed to be a geek and that the ultimate thing for a geek was not just to build Skynet, but when it comes to kill you.
Complex interactions and Tight coupling are the recipe for Normal (Expected) Accidents, not Black Swans.
Final word from this session goes to McKinsey – three key takeaways;
- Data matters (their buzz word was ‘Big Data’)
- Talent matters
- Leadership matters
He does not predict, merely forecast. And like all good forecasts these are refined and updated as new information becomes available. It was interesting that he flagged some of the major disasters that had been discussed by Lester Brown and others at WCDM last week.
Treadway’s session is not something that can readily be summarised, but here are three key ideas to take away;
- We need to adjust to a ‘new normal’
- If change is happening all around you, are you challenging your own ‘world view’ or holding to the old perspective?
- To forecast and prepare for the future we need to scan our environment
- Improve our ‘Situation Awareness’
- Are you building your capacity to detect weak signals?
- Are you reading outside your narrow professional silo?
- Be aware of what he calls the ‘Noah Principle’
Forecasting rain does not count … building arks does.
This principle holds true for risk, BC and resilience thinking. It is not enough to identify a mitigation strategy, we need to build the capability to execute.
I have to be honest, I decided to come to this because it was immediately after WCDM – but I am glad I did. It has been a very well put together program, featuring top quality people. With representation from 52 countries it was also a ‘world’ event.